In the post-Cold War and post-Communist international order, China continues to present as much a puzzle as a paradox, challenging those who seek to understand contemporary China. Politically, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has survived the internal upheaval of 1989 associated with the bloodshed in Beijing. It seems also to have withstood the shocking assault of the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, although uncertainties regarding China’s political future are still underlined by the passing of Deng Xiaoping. The Leninist state is now presiding over an increasingly liberalising economy. Stunning economic growth in China in the last few years, however, has not been accompanied by democratisation but by political stagnation and repression. China is now widely perceived as a rising power with its rapid economic modernisation. It is at the same time a state beset by socio-economic problems of mammoth proportion unleashed precisely by the very process of its economic modernisation. Further, whereas China is often seen as the engine of growth for the Asia Pacific in the years towards the next millennium, the perception of China as a threat in the region, with an irredentist agenda and undefined strategic intentions, continues to prevail in many quarters.
KeywordsInternational Society World Trade Organisation Chinese Communist Party Rightful Place Global Economic Order
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- 12.For this point, see in particular B. Buzan, ‘From International System to International Society: Structural Realism and Regime Theory Meet the English School’, International Organisation, 47, 3, (Summer 1993), 327–52.Google Scholar