The rise of China could be the most important political development of the twenty-first century. What will China look like in the future? What should it look like? And what will China's rise mean for the rest of world? This book, written by China's most influential foreign policy thinker, sets out a vision for the coming decades from China's point of view.
In the West, Yan Xuetong is often regarded as a hawkish policy advisor and enemy of liberal internationalists. But a very different picture emerges from this book, as Yan examines the lessons of ancient Chinese political thought for the future of China and the development of a "Beijing consensus" in international relations. Yan, it becomes clear, is neither a communist who believes that economic might is the key to national power, nor a neoconservative who believes that China should rely on military might to get its way. Rather, Yan argues, political leadership is the key to national power, and morality is an essential part of political leadership. Economic and military might are important components of national power, but they are secondary to political leaders who act in accordance with moral norms, and the same holds true in determining the hierarchy of the global order.
Providing new insights into the thinking of one of China's leading foreign policy figures, this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in China's rise or in international relations.
In a new preface, Yan reflects on his arguments in light of recent developments in Chinese foreign policy, including the selection of a new leader in 2012.
About the Author
Table of ContentsAcknowledgments vii
A Note on the Translation ix
Preface to the Paperback Edition xi
Introduction by Daniel A. Bell 1
PART I: Ancient Chinese Thought, Modern Chinese Power
Chapter 1: A Comparative Study of Pre-Qin Interstate Political Philosophy byYan Xuetong 21
Chapter 2: Xunzi's Interstate Political Philosophy and Its Message for Today by Yan Xuetong 70
Chapter 3: Hegemony in The Stratagems of the Warring States by Yan Xuetong and Huang Yuxing 107
PART II: Comments
Chapter 4: An Examination of the Research Theory of Pre-Qin Interstate Political Philosophy byYang Qianru 147
Chapter 5: The Two Poles of Confucianism: A Comparison of the Interstate Political Philosophies of Mencius and Xunzi by Xu Jin 161
Chapter 6: Political Hegemony in Ancient China: A Review of "Hegemony in The Stratagems of the Warring States" by Wang Rihua 181
PART III: Response to the Commentators
Chapter 7: Pre-Qin Philosophy and China's Rise Today by Yan Xuetong 199
Appendix 1: The Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods
and the Pre-Qin Masters by Xu Jin 223
Appendix 2: Yan Xuetong: A Realist Scholar Clinging to Scientific Prediction by Lu Xin 229
Appendix 3: Why Is There No Chinese School of International Relations Theory? By Yan Xuetong 252
Select Bibliography 283
What People are Saying About This
"China's increasing strength and influence in the modern world are confronting Chinese with a new set of intellectual challenges in assessing how the country's enhanced status will affect Chinese behavior, how other countries will react, and what policies China should adopt to optimize its interests. Not surprisingly, thoughtful Chinese are looking for clues in their distant past, two and a half millennia ago, when the competition over six centuries among the political enclaves that eventually formed a united China prompted an outpouring of philosophical thinking on issues of statecraft. This stimulating book examines this thinking in ways relevant both to international relations theory and China's emerging position in world affairs."J. Stapleton Roy, former U.S. ambassador to China