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2021 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

1. Introduction

Author: Peng Bo

Published in: China and Global Governance

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

This chapter provides a comprehensive introduction regarding the ongoing parallel phenomena in contemporary international relations: China’s rise and its increasing participation in global governance on the one hand; and the weakening of the existing Western-based global governance in the form of crises of functionality, scope, legitimacy, and authority on the other hand. The two events have motivated a large number of scholars to hotly debate the relationship between the rise of China and the existing world order. By identifying the deficiencies of the mainstream Western-based IR theories on interpreting China’s impact on the existing world order, the chapter proposes a culture-oriented approach to China’s role in contemporary international relations.
Footnotes
1
In Chinese history, there are several manifestations and interpretations of “state”. Before the Qin Dynasty (221–207 BC), China was in the feudalistic (封建) political system. In the context of feudalism, “state” refers to “zhouhou guo” (诸侯国). Zhuhou (诸侯) were the feudal lords, and their estates or states were named as “feudal states”/“zhuhou guo.” For instance, during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), the term “states” represents the “zhuhou guo.” However, since Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇) established a unified China, the Chinese political system transformed from feudalism to a “unified and power-centralized state.” In this context, “state” refers to a powerful central government and is governed by a supreme monarch without the existence of “zhouhou wang” (诸侯王). From the Qin Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty, China witnessed division and unification. During the period of division, such as the Three Kingdoms Period (220–280 AD), there were several power-centralized states competing with each other for the reunification of China. The 1911 Xinhai Revolution ended the last monarch-governed centralized state in Chinese history. Since then, China has become a combination of modern nation-state and civilization-state. The former implies that China accepts the Westphalian nation-state system characterized by state sovereignty and international law, while the latter indicates that durable Chinese ancient political thoughts and cultural legacies largely influence its way of thinking and practices in contemporary international relations.
 
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Metadata
Title
Introduction
Author
Peng Bo
Copyright Year
2021
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-70497-1_1

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