International Responsibility, Multilateralism, and China’s Foreign Policy

  • Chen ZhiminEmail author
Part of the United Nations University Series on Regionalism book series (UNSR, volume 5)


China’s foreign policy is acquiring a growing multilateral dimension. This development is in line with a booming discourse of international responsibility in China. This chapter intends to clarify the general understanding in China about its international responsibilities, with regard to its foreign policy. It will then explore how China’s growing responsibility diplomacy injected new dynamics in China’s multilateral diplomacy, transforming it from pragmatic multilateralism towards a strategic one. China has not only actively engaged in the existing multilateral institutions, but also co-initiated a number of new multilateral institutions, mostly in Asia. At the same time, challenges also arise in its management of this new multilateral responsibility diplomacy, particularly in its efforts to seek a proper balance between the responsibility diplomacy and traditional diplomatic principles, its national interests, capacity and external expectations.


Foreign Policy Security Council National Interest International Responsibility Security Council Resolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bull, H. (2002). The anarchical society: A study of order in world politics (3rd ed., pp. 199–222). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Cane, P. (2002). Responsibility in law and morality (p. 31). Oxford and Portland: Hart Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. Chan, G. (2003). Is China a responsible state? In J. Cheng (Ed.), China’s challenges in the twenty-first century. Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press.Google Scholar
  4. Deng, X. (1993). shehuizhuyi bixu baituo pingqiong [Socialism must get rid of poverty, April 26,1978]. In Deng Xiaoping wenxuan [Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping] (p. 224). Beijing: Renmin Chubanshe.Google Scholar
  5. Gu, Z., Wang, X., & Bai, J. (2009, December 30). China to see large rise of contributions to UN budget in new year. Xinhua News Agency,
  6. Jackson, R. H. (1998, November). Surrogate sovereignty? Great power responsibility and ‘failed states’ (Working Paper No.25). Institute of International Relations, The University of British Columbia.Google Scholar
  7. Johnston, A. I. (2003). Is China a status quo power? International Security, 27(4), 5–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Li, B., & Xu, Z. (2006). lengzhan hou zhongguo fuzeren daguo shenfen de goujian [China’s self-identity construction as a responsible power in the post-cold war era]. jiaoxue yu yanjiu [Teaching and Research], 1, 49–56.Google Scholar
  9. Li, S., & Wang, Y. (Eds.). (2007). Quanqiu zhengzhi yu anquan baogao [Annual report on global politics and security, 2007]. Beijing: shenhui kexue wenxian chubanshe.Google Scholar
  10. Liu, F. (2004). quanli, zeren yu daguo rentong [Power responsibility and great power identity]. Taipingyang xuebao, 12, 25–32.Google Scholar
  11. Lucas, J. R. (1993). Responsibility (p. 54). Clarendon Press: Oxford.Google Scholar
  12. Ma, J. (2005). New development of China-Russia-India triangle. Contemporary International Relations, 7, 39–49.Google Scholar
  13. Pan, Z. (Ed.). (2008) Guoji zeren yu daguo zhanlue [International Responsibility and Great Power Strategy]. Shanghai: Shanghai People’s Press.Google Scholar
  14. Pang, Z. (2001). Zhongguo de yazhou zhanlue:linghuo de duobianzhuyi [China’s Asian Strategy: Flexible Multilateralism]. Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi [World Economy and Politics], 10, 30–35.Google Scholar
  15. Sheng, H. (1988). Lianheguo weichi heping xingdong falv wen ti yanjiu [Study on the legal issues of the UN peacekeeping operations] (p. 89). Beijing: Junshiyiwen Press.Google Scholar
  16. Watson, A. (1997). The limits of independence: Relations between states in the modern world (p. 95). London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Wen, J. (2009, November 8). Building the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership. Speech at the opening ceremony of the fourth ministerial conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Sharm El Sheikh.
  18. Wu, J. (2007, March 22). zhongguo shi yige fuzeren de guojia [China is a responsible state]. ­renmin ribao [People’s Daily], overseas edition.Google Scholar
  19. Xia, L. (2001). China: A responsible great power. Journal of Contemporary China, 10(26), 17–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Yang, H. (2009). zhongguo duiwai yuanzhu de huigu yu fazhan [The past and development of China’s external aid]. Xuexi Yuekan [Study Monthly], 11A, 40–41.Google Scholar
  21. Zhang, Y., & Austin, G. (Eds.). (2001). Power and responsibility in Chinese foreign policy. Canberra: Asia Pacific Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Diplomacy StudiesFudan UniversityShanghaiChina

Personalised recommendations