The Orientalist Clue: Equalizing the Counter-State

  • Chih-yu Shih
Part of the Comparative Perspectives on Modern Asia book series (CPMA)


Ambiguities concerning China’s identity in world politics were largely resolved with the beginning of the Cold War. Few students of China are interested in analyzing the purpose of Chinese foreign policy precisely because the goal seems too clear to be questioned. Chinese academics and politicians, as well as those who study Chinese foreign policy typically hold that key factors of national interest defined in terms of territorial security, national reunification, and modernization are undoubtly what China aims to accomplish in the post–Cold War era. In fact, leading analysts tend to interpret all other purposes, such as nationalism, into a national interest calculus.1 In response, Chinese diplomacy witnesses repeated rhetoric of sovereign integrity, peace and development, and strategic partnership, reflecting the wisdom of classic realism. The question, which I want to tackle in this chapter, is whether or not the rhetoric effectively conveys the meaning of foreign policy to those who enlist in the rhetoric. In other words, to what extent the rhetoric of national interest suppresses the expression of motivation underneath each foreign policy move taken.


Civil Society Foreign Policy Chinese Culture Chinese Leader Chinese State 
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© Chih-yu Shih 2003

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  • Chih-yu Shih

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