China’s assertive diplomacy in recent years has ignited intense debates among International Relations (IR) scholars. Some argue that China’s assertive behavior is rooted in its perception of increasing power and capabilities. Others suggest that it is U.S. policies that triggered China’s assertive reactions. Relying on an original survey of China’s IR scholars conducted in Beijing in 2013 and using structural equation modeling (SEM), we empirically examine Chinese IR scholars’ attitude towards Chinese power versus the United States, their perceptions of U.S. policy in Asia, and their preference for an assertive Chinese foreign policy. We find that both the power perception and policy reaction arguments make sense in accounting for Chinese IR scholars’ attitude regarding China’s assertive diplomacy. However, our research suggests that a more pessimistic view on Chinese power is more likely to be associated with a preference for an assertive foreign policy.
About the Authors
Dr Huiyun Feng is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Utah State University. She is a former Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar at United States Institute of Peace. Her publications have appeared in the European Journal of International Relations, Security Studies, The Pacific Review, International Politics, Chinese Journal of International Politics, and Asian Perspective. She is the author of Chinese Strategic Culture and Foreign Policy Decision-Making: Confucianism, Leadership and War (Routledge, 2007) and the co-author of Prospect Theory and Foreign Policy Analysis in the Asia Pacific: Rational Leaders and Risky Behavior (Routledge, 2013).
Dr Kai He is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Princeton–Harvard China and the World Program. His publications have appeared in the European Journal of International Relations, European Political Science Review, Security Studies, Review of International Studies, Cooperation and Conflict, The Pacific Review, Journal of Contemporary China, The Chinese Journal of International Politics, International Politics, Asian Survey, Asian Security, Asian Perspective, and International Relations of the Asia Pacific. He is the author of Institutional Balancing in the Asia Pacific: Economic Interdependence and China’s Rise (Routledge, 2009) and the co-author of Prospect Theory and Foreign Policy Analysis in the Asia Pacific: Rational Leaders and Risky Behavior (Routledge, 2013).
Americas / Country and Region Studies / East Asia and Asia Pacific / Global / International Politics and Security / Maritime Security / Regionalism and Multilateralism / Southeast Asia and ASEAN / Working Papers
Last updated on 17/09/2014