China's Global Identity

cover art
197 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781626166134 (1626166137)

197 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781626166141 (1626166145)

ISBN: 9781626166158

Request E-Inspection

November 2018


Table of Contents

China's Global Identity
Considering the Responsibilities of Great Power
Hoo Tiang Boon

China is today regarded as a major player in world politics, with growing expectations for it to do more to address global challenges. Yet relatively little is known about how it sees itself as a great power and understands its obligations to the world.

In China's Global Identity, Hoo Tiang Boon embarks on the first sustained study of China's great power identity. Focus is drawn to China's positioning of itself as a responsible power and the underestimated role played by the United States in shaping this face. In 1995 President Bill Clinton notably called for China to become a responsible great power, one that integrates itself into existing international institutions and becomes a leader in solving global problems. Chinese leaders were at that time already debating their future course and obligations to the world. Hoo examines this ongoing internal debate through Chinese sources and reveals the underestimated role that the United States has in this dialogue. Unraveling the big power politics, history, events, and ideas behind the emergence and evolution of China's great power identity, the book provides fresh insights into the real-world issues of how China might use its power as it grows. The question of China's role as a responsible power has real-world implications for its diplomacy and trajectory, as well as the responses of states adjusting to these shifts. The book offers a new lens for scholars, policy professionals, diplomats, and students in the fields of international relations and Asian affairs to make sense of China's rise and its impact on America and global order.

Hoo Tiang Boon is an assistant professor and coordinator of the Masters in Asian Studies Program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is the editor of Chinese Foreign Policy under Xi.

"Dr. Tiang Boon Hoo's book represents a comprehensive review of the evolution of Chinese discourse on its "great power responsibilities". It is balanced, sophisticated and nuanced, a must read for all who wish to understand China's foreign policy and foreign relations in the contemporary period."—Jia Qingguo, Dean, School of International Studies, Peking University

"A critical factor shaping the future of international peace and stability is whether China will be a responsible steward and reformer of the existing order. For scholars and policy-makers seeking to understand Chinese foreign policy, one important stream of evidence is what the Chinese government and scholars say in a systematic way about that policy. Professor Hoo Tiang Boon successfully uses the latter to reveal the former in this important book."—Richard C. Bush, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

"How will China behave on the world stage in the years to come? There are few more pressing questions in international relations. Tiang Boon Hoo's pathbreaking study explores it through a deep dive into the evolution of Chinese debates about what it means to be a great power. He unearths a surprisingly rich and diverse discourse that underlies official policies, and shows how Chinese think about their global roles and responsibilities. Probing in its research and nuanced in its findings, China's Global Identity should be read by all scholars of Chinese foreign policy."—David Shambaugh, Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies, Political Science, & International Affairs, George Washington University

"In China's Global Identity, Hoo Tiang Boon embarks on the first sustained study of China's great power identity, examining Chinese sources to shed light on China's positioning of itself as a responsible power and on the underestimated role played by the United States in shaping this face."—Political Science Quarterly

"In unpacking China's RGP discourse, Hoo teases out a set of internal and external dynamics that provide critical context interpreting Beijing's policies and actions."—Andrew Scobell, Pardee RAND Graduate School, Political Science Quarterly

Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
1: The Origins of China's Great Power Identity
2: Incipient Identification as a Responsible Great Power, 1978 to 1996
3: Expansion of the RGP Narrative and the US influence, 1997 to 2004
4: America's 'Responsible Stakeholder' Call and the Sharpening of Debate, 2005-2012
5: Xi's China: Post-Responsibility since 2013?
A Note on Sources
About the Author