China's 'Harmonious World' in the Era of the Rising East

By Richard E. Poole
2014, Vol. 6 No. 10 | pg. 4/4 |

Conclusion: From a 'Harmonious World' to 'Harmonious Worlds'

In conclusion, discussion surrounding the meaning of and debates on China's 'harmonious world' concept included in this paper are by no means all-encompassing or exclusive. However, this paper has attempted to bridge the international/domestic and official/unofficial divides often made and taken-for-granted within and analysis.

In doing so, it may not have completely demystified the true nature of the 'harmonious world' policy, nor definitively answered the question of how and if is indeed building a 'harmonious world.' However, it has possibly done a greater service by rejecting such singular truths, showing, somewhat ironically, that China's 'harmonious world' vision is itself not a harmonious whole, as there are many interpretations of the policy constantly being negotiated within China.

Yet one thing is for certain: China will continue to rise. As a result, more attention needs to be given to the way concepts and policy ideas are formulated and actioned upon in China. To more fully explore and evaluate China's future dream of 'building a harmonious world,' or any other alternative future trajectory for that matter, it is necessary to listen to the different voices and commentators within China.

This can only serve to support and strengthen any analysis of the Chinese state's international actions, in respect to its official foreign policy stance. Certainly, intellectuals wield increasing and influence at least in the debate over China's international and domestic future, a future which will affect all countries and peoples across the world and alter the international political environment for years to come.


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Endnotes

1.) See for instance, Deng Y. (2006) "Reputation and the Security Dilemma: China Reacts to China Threat Theory."

2.) A not too dissimilar argument is noted by Yan Xuetong, and is quoted within Hu Angang's book "China in 2020: A New Type of Superpower"; although in relation to the 'peaceful rise' principle (Xuetong cited in Angang 2011, p. xxxviii).

3.) See Dellios (2012) "What does Harmonious Regionalism Mean?"; for greater insights into the recent Senkaku/Diaoyu islands incidents in relation to the Chinese 'harmonious' S-E Asian strategy.

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