So China’s peaked and is now in decline? The West is engaging in wishful thinking if it really believes Beijing’s rise is over.


is a British writer and analyst of politics and international relations with a primary focus on East Asia.

is a British writer and analyst of politics and international relations with a primary focus on East Asia.

On Saturday, Xi Jinping made a speech celebrating the 110th anniversary of the 1911 Revolution, an upheaval which brought an end to the Chinese Imperial system and established ‘The First Republic of China’. Although this state was not the start of the current People’s Republic, the legacy nonetheless remains important to China as it started the country on a path to modernization. 

Xi used the anniversary to commemorate what he described as “the national rejuvenation of China” and doubled down on the Taiwan issue, stating that “national reunification” was inevitable and in the best interests of the island. 

Yet not all commentators are convinced about this “rejuvenation.” Last week, an article was published in Foreign Affairs, the influential US publication, written by Michael Beckley and Hal Brands and entitled ‘The End of China’s Rise – Beijing Is Running Out of Time to Remake the World’. The two authors then proceeded to post a similar article in Foreign Policy, called ‘China is a Declining Power – and That’s the Problem’. 

What is their argument in both pieces? That “China’s economy is slowing down,” that the West is becoming hostile to China and pushing back, and that China’s shift under Xi is detrimental to its rise. It then proceeds to argue that these factors are elevating the risk of war. 

Is China’s rise over? Has it peaked? I don’t think so. First of all, since when did opposition to a rising power mean that such a power was automatically no longer ‘rising’? This is a bizarre line of argument. It is a structural process of international relations that when one power rises, status quo powers feel insecure and seek to attain equilibrium in order to sustain balance against it. This has been a frequent story in history, where every single “rising power” has met resistance, irrespective of whether it succeeds in the end or not. Take the Kingdom of England, for example; as it transitioned from a medieval state into a modern colonial one in the Tudor Era, it experienced pushback from the Spanish Empire. 

Did this pushback from Madrid mean that England botched its own rise and was responsible for messing it up in the way China. Brinkwire Summary News. For more information, search on the internet.


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