What Does China's Pursuit of a Global Coalition Mean for World Politics?

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
Posted Oct 11, 2018 | Rand Corporation, Timothy Heath

China's advocacy of norms of “justice” and “fairness” have implications for its disputes. Beijing's moralistic claims provide an incentive to peacefully resolve disputes and avoid the opprobrium of imperialist military aggression. Related goals include the weakening of Western power and protection of the interests of developing countries. However, as Timothy Heath suggests in the article for the Rand Corporation, the same moralistic stance provides Beijing with a flexible justification for military action to defend any interest, whether in China, in contested maritime regions, or other parts of the world. Compared to China's longstanding “defensive” policy anchored in defense of the homeland, these represent a weakening of political restraints on the use of force.



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