Foreign relations of the People's Republic of China

Foreign relations of the People's Republic of China
Diplomatic relations between world states and People's Republic of China
  People's Republic of China
  Nations that the PRC has relations with
  Nations that have no diplomatic relations with the PRC
  Disputed areas
People's Republic of China

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the People's Republic of China

Other countries · Atlas
Politics portal
view · talk · edit

The foreign relations of the People's Republic of China guides the way in which it interacts with foreign nations. As a great power and emerging superpower, China's foreign policy and strategic thinking is highly influential. China officially states it "unswervingly pursues an independent foreign policy of peace. The fundamental goals of this policy are to preserve China's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, create a favorable international environment for China's reform and opening up and modernization construction, maintain world peace and propel common development."[1] An example of a foreign policy decision guided by China's "sovereignty and territorial integrity" is its not engaging in diplomatic relations with any country that recognizes the Republic of China.[2][3][4]

Recent Chinese foreign policy makers may be seen to adhere to the realist rather than the liberal school of international relations theory. Thus, in sharp contrast to the Soviet Union and the United States, China has not been devoted to advancing any higher international ideological interests such as world communism or world democracy since the Cold War; that is, ideology appears to be secondary to advancing its national interest. China is a member of many international organizations; holding key positions such as a permanent member on the UN Security Council and is a leader in many areas such as non-proliferation, peacekeeping and resolving regional conflicts.


Institutions of foreign policy

Like most other nations, China's foreign policy is carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, the Foreign Affairs Ministry is subordinate to the Foreign Affairs Leading Small Group of the Communist Party of China, which decides on policy-making.

Unlike most other nations, much of Chinese foreign policy is formulated in think tanks sponsored and supervised by, but formally outside of the government. One distinctive aspect of Sino-American relations is that much of the foreign policy discussion takes place between interlocutors who form the think tanks.[citation needed] Because these discussions are unofficial, they are generally more free and less restricted than discussions between government officials. China is also distinctive for having a separate body of Chinese strategic thought and theory of international relations which is distinct from Western theory.[citation needed]

History of foreign policy

Since its establishment, the People's Republic of China has worked vigorously to win international support for its position that it is the sole legitimate government of all China, including Hong Kong (Foreign relations of Hong Kong), Macau (Foreign relations of Macau), and Taiwan (Foreign relations of the Republic of China). Until the early 1970s, the Republic of China government in Taipei was recognized diplomatically by most world powers and the UN. After the Beijing government assumed the China seat in the United Nations in 1971 (and the ROC government was expelled) and became increasingly more significant as a global player, most nations switched diplomatic relations from the Republic of China to the People's Republic of China. Japan established diplomatic relations with China in 1972, following the Joint Communique of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China, and the United States did so in 1979. The number of countries that have established diplomatic relations with Beijing has risen to 171, while 23 maintain diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (or Taiwan).[5] (See also: Political status of Taiwan)

Both the PRC and ROC make it a prerequisite for diplomatic relations that a country does not recognize and conduct any official relations with the other party.

After its founding, China's foreign policy initially focused on its solidarity with the Soviet Union, the Eastern Bloc nations, and other communist countries, sealed with, among other agreements, the China-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance signed in 1950 to oppose China's chief antagonists, the West and in particular the United States. The 1950–53 Korean War waged by China and its North Korea ally against the United States, South Korea, and United Nations (UN) forces has long been a reason for bitter feelings. After the conclusion of the Korean War, China sought to balance its identification as a member of the Soviet bloc by establishing friendly relations with Pakistan and other Third World countries, particularly in Southeast Asia.

By the late 1950s, relations between China and the Soviet Union had become so divisive that in 1960, the Soviets unilaterally withdrew their advisers from China. The two then began to vie for allegiances among the developing world nations, for China saw itself as a natural champion through its role in the Non-Aligned Movement and its numerous bilateral and bi-party ties. In the 1960s, Beijing competed with Moscow for political influence among communist parties and in the developing world generally. In 1962, China had a brief war with India over a border dispute. By 1969, relations with Moscow were so tense that fighting erupted along their common border. Following the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and clashes in 1969 on the Sino-Soviet border, Chinese competition with the Soviet Union increasingly reflected concern over China's own strategic position. China then lessened its anti-Western rhetoric and began developing formal diplomatic relations with West European nations.

Around the same time, in 1971, that Beijing succeeded in gaining China's seat in the UN (thus ousting the Republic of China on Taiwan), relations with the United States began to thaw. In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon visited China. Formal diplomatic relations were established in 1978, and the two nations have experienced more than a quarter century of varying degrees of amiable or wary relations over such contentious issues as Taiwan, trade balances, intellectual property rights, nuclear proliferation, and human rights.

In late 1978, the Chinese also became concerned over Vietnam's efforts to establish open control over Laos and Cambodia. In response to the Soviet-backed Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, China fought a war with Vietnam (February–March 1979).

Chinese anxiety about Soviet strategic advances was heightened following the Soviet Union's December 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. Sharp differences between China and the Soviet Union persisted over Soviet support for Vietnam's continued occupation of Cambodia, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and Soviet troops along the Sino-Soviet border and in Mongolia--the so-called "three obstacles" to improved Sino-Soviet relations.

In the 1970s and 1980s, China sought to create a secure regional and global environment for itself and to foster good relations with countries that could aid its economic development. To this end, China looked to the West for assistance with its modernization drive and for help in countering Soviet expansionism, which it characterized as the greatest threat to its national security and to world peace.

China maintained its consistent opposition to "superpower hegemonism," focusing almost exclusively on the expansionist actions of the Soviet Union and Soviet proxies such as Vietnam and Cuba, but it also placed growing emphasis on a foreign policy independent of both the U.S. and the Soviet Union. While improving ties with the West, China continued to closely follow the political and economic positions of the Third World Non-Aligned Movement, although China was not a formal member.

In the immediate aftermath of Tiananmen crackdown in June 1989, many countries reduced their diplomatic contacts with China as well as their economic assistance programs. In response, China worked vigorously to expand its relations with foreign countries, and by late 1990, had reestablished normal relations with almost all nations. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in late 1991, China also opened diplomatic relations with the republics of the former Soviet Union.

Recent foreign policy

Countries of the world indicating decade diplomatic relations commenced with the People's Republic of China: 1949/1950s (dark red), 1960s (red), 1970s (orange), 1980s (beige) and 1990s/2000s (yellow). Countries not recognized by or not recognizing the PRC are in grey.

In recent years, China's leaders have been regular travelers to all parts of the globe, and it has sought a higher profile in the UN through its permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and other multilateral organizations.

Closer to home, China has made efforts to reduce tensions in Asia; its relations with its Asian neighbors have become stable during the last decades of the 20th century. It has contributed to stability on the Korean Peninsula, cultivated a more cooperative relationship with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), and participated in the ASEAN Regional Forum. In 1997, the ASEAN member nations and the People's Republic of China, South Korea and Japan agreed to hold yearly talks to further strengthen regional cooperation, the ASEAN Plus Three meetings. In 2005, the "ASEAN Plus Three" countries together with India, Australia and New Zealand held the inaugural East Asia Summit (EAS). Relations have improved with Vietnam since a border war was fought with the one-time close ally in 1979. A territorial dispute with its Southeast Asian neighbors over islands in the South China Sea remains unresolved, as does another dispute in the East China Sea with Japan.

China has improved ties with Russia. President Putin and President Jiang, in large part to serve as a counterbalance to the United States, signed a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in July 2001. The two also joined with the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to found the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in June 2001. The SCO is designed to promote regional stability and cooperate to combat terrorism in the region.

Relations with India have also improved considerably. After years of competition, general distrust between the two (mostly over China's close relationship with Pakistan and India's with the former Soviet Union) and a border war, relations in the 21st century between the world's two most populous states have never been more harmonious, as they have started to collaborate in several economic and strategic areas. Both countries have doubled their economic trade in the past few years, and China became India's largest trading partner in 2010. The two countries are planning to host joint naval exercises. In 2003, China and India held negotiations for the first time since the Sino-Indian War of 1962 on a major border dispute: however, the dispute over Aksai Chin and South Tibet is not settled, and plagues Sino-India relations. While New Delhi has raised objections to Chinese military-aid to arch-rival Pakistan and neighboring Bangladesh, Beijing similarly objects to India's growing military collaboration with Japan, Australia and the United States.[6][7]

China has border and maritime disputes, including with Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin and with Japan. Beijing has resolved many of these disputes. Notably on July 21, 2008, it finally resolved the last remaining border dispute it had with Russia with Russia ceding a small amount of territory to China.[8][9] There is now no border dispute between Russia and China along their 4300 km border. China also reached a 2000 agreement with Vietnam to resolve some differences over their maritime border, though disagreements remain over some islands in the South China Sea.

During the late 1990s and early 21st century, Chinese foreign policy appeared to be focused on improving relations with Russia and Europe to counterbalance the United States. This strategy was based on the premise that the United States was a hyperpower whose influence could be checked through alliances with other powers, such as Russia or the European Union. This assessment of United States power was reconsidered after the United States intervention in Kosovo, and as the 20th century drew to a close, the discussion among thinktanks in China involved how to reorient Chinese foreign policy in a unipolar world. This discussion also occurred in the context of China's new security concept, which argued that the post–Cold War era required nations to move away from thinking in terms of alliances and power blocs and toward thinking in terms of economic and diplomatic cooperation.

China had long been a close ally of North Korea but also found a valuable trading partner in South Korea and eventually took a role in the early 2000s as a proponent of "six-party talks" (North Korea, South Korea, Russia, Japan, the United States, and China) to resolve tensions on the Korean Peninsula. China was instrumental at brokering talks with North Korea over its nuclear program, and in 2003, there was a concerted effort by China to improve relations with the ASEAN nations and form a common East Asian market. These foreign policy efforts have been part of a general foreign policy initiative known as China's peaceful rise. On November 15, 2005, Hu Jintao visited Seoul and spoke of the importance of both countries' contributions for regional peace and cooperation in economic development.

However, China's opposition to the bid of two of its important neighbors—India and Japan—to become permanent members of the United Nations Security Council has proved to be an irritant in their respective relationships. Japan, with its large economic and cultural influences in Asia, is seen by China as its most formidable opponent and partner in regional diplomacy. The two sides established diplomatic relations in 1972, and Japanese investment in China was important in the early years of China's economic reforms and ever since. Having fought two wars against Japan (1894–95 and 1936–45), China's long-standing concern about the level of Japan's military strength surfaces periodically, and criticism of Japan's refusal to present a full version of the atrocities of World War II in its textbooks is a perennial issue.

At a national meeting on diplomatic work in August 2004, China's President Hu Jintao reiterated that China will continue its "independent foreign policy of peaceful development," stressing the need for a peaceful and stable international environment, especially among China's neighbors, that will foster "mutually beneficial cooperation" and "common development." This policy line has varied little in intent since the People's Republic was established in 1949, but the rhetoric has varied in its stridency to reflect periods of domestic political upheaval.

In 2005, there has been talk of the European Union lifting its arms embargo, however the United States has objected to this.[10]

Foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang made a statement about the eight-point diplomatic philosophy of the People's Republic of China:[11]

  1. China will not seek hegemony. China is still a developing country and has no resources to seek hegemony. Even if China becomes a developed country, it will not seek hegemony.
  2. China will not play power politics and will not interfere with other countries' internal affairs. China will not impose its own ideology on other countries.
  3. China maintains all countries, big or small, should be treated equally and respect each other. All affairs should be consulted and resolved by all countries on the basis of equal participation. No country should bully others on the basis of strength.
  4. China will make judgment on each case in international affairs, each matter on the merit of the matter itself and it will not have double standards. China will not have two policies: one for itself and one for others. China believes that it cannot do unto others what they do not wish others do unto them.
  5. China advocates that all countries handle their relations on the basis of the United Nations Charter and norms governing international relations. China advocates stepping up international cooperation and is against unilateral politics. China should not undermine the dignity and the authority of the U.N. China should not impose and set its own wishes above the U.N. Charter, international law and norms.
  6. China advocates peaceful negotiation and consultation so as to resolve its international disputes. China does not resort to force, or threat of force, in resolving international disputes. China maintains a reasonable national military buildup to defend its own sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is not made to expand, nor does it seek invasion or aggression.
  7. China is firmly opposed to terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. China is a responsible member of the international community, and as for international treaties, China abides by all them in a faithful way. China never plays by a double standard, selecting and discarding treaties it does not need.
  8. China respects the diversity of civilization and the whole world. China advocates different cultures make exchanges, learn from each other, and complement one another with their own strengths. China is opposed to clashes and confrontations between civilizations, and China does not link any particular ethnic group or religion with terrorism.

In 2011, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi outlined plans for an "integrated approach" that would serve China's economic development.[12]

The United States Department of Defense in a 2011 report stated that China continues to use nationalism in order to increase support for the Communist party and to avoid internal criticism. However, this may also make it more difficult for Chinese foreign policy moderates to calm down tensions and avoid inflexibility during international conflicts.[13]

Diplomatic relations

Trans-national issues

The People's Republic of China has 14 neighbouring nations by land, and 7 neighbours by sea (8 if counting Taiwan). Only Russia has as many neighbouring nations (14 by land, 12 by sea). Many disputes have arisen and resolved and many yet are undetermined.

International territorial disputes

Territorial disputes with other countries include:[14]

Bloomberg News reports that these disputes are undermining China's attempts to charm its neighbors away from American influence.[15]

Refugee asylum

Refugees by country of origin are: 300,897 (from Vietnam), estimated 30,000-50,000 (from North Korea)

People trafficking

China is a source, transit, and destination country for women, men, and children trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor; the majority of trafficking in China is internal, but there is also international trafficking of Chinese citizens; women are lured through false promises of legitimate employment into commercial sexual exploitation in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan; Chinese men and women are smuggled to countries throughout the world at enormous personal expense and then forced into commercial sexual exploitation or exploitative labor to repay debts to traffickers; women and children are trafficked into China from Mongolia, Burma, North Korea, Russia, and Vietnam for forced labor, marriage, and sexual slavery; most North Koreans enter northeastern China voluntarily, but others reportedly are trafficked into China from North Korea; domestic trafficking remains the most significant problem in China, with an estimated minimum of 10,000-20,000 victims trafficked each year; the actual number of victims could be much greater; some experts believe that the serious and prolonged imbalance in the male-female birth ratio may now be contributing to Chinese and foreign girls and women being trafficked as potential brides.[14]

US State Department Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - "China failed to show evidence of increasing efforts to address transnational trafficking; while the government provides reasonable protection to internal victims of trafficking, protection for Chinese and foreign victims of transnational trafficking remain inadequate."[14]

Illicit drugs

China is a major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia. There is a growing domestic drug abuse problem and it is a source country for chemical precursors, despite new regulations on its large chemical industry.[14]

International organizations

Membership in International Organizations:[14]

China holds a permanent seat, which affords it veto power, on the Security Council of the United Nations (UN). Prior to 1971, the Republic of China on Taiwan held China's UN seat, but, as of that date, the People's Republic of China successfully lobbied for Taiwan's removal from the UN and took control of the seat.

China is an active member of numerous UN system organizations, including the UN General Assembly and Security Council; Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN; UN Conference on Trade and Development; UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees; UN Industrial Development Organization; UN Institute for Training and Research; UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission; and UN Truce Supervision Organization.

China also holds memberships in the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (dialogue partner), Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum, Bank for International Settlements, Caribbean Development Bank, Group of 20, Group of 77, International Atomic Energy Agency, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Chamber of Commerce, International Civil Aviation Organization, International Criminal Police Organization, International Development Association, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Finance Corporation, International Fund for Agricultural Development, International Hydrographic Organization, International Labour Organization, International Maritime Organization, International Monetary Fund, International Olympic Committee, International Organization for Migration (observer), International Organization for Standardization, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, International Telecommunication Union, Latin American Integration Association (observer), Non-Aligned Movement (observer), Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Permanent Court of Arbitration, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Universal Postal Union, World Customs Organization, World Health Organization, World Intellectual Property Organization, World Meteorological Organization, World Tourism Organization, World Trade Organization, and Zangger Committee.

Major international treaties

The People's Republic of China has signed numerous international conventions and treaties.[14]

Treaties signed on behalf of China before 1949 are applicable only to the Republic of China on Taiwan. Conventions signed by Beijing include: Assistance in Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency Convention; Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention; Chemical Weapons Convention; Conventional Weapons Convention; Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident Convention; Inhumane Weapons Convention; Nuclear Dumping Convention (London Convention); Nuclear Safety Convention; Physical Protection of Nuclear Material Convention; Rights of the Child and on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography Convention (signed Optional Protocol); and Status of Refugees Convention (and the 1967 Protocol).

Treaties include the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (signed but not ratified); Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous, or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare (Geneva Protocol); Treaty on the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (Treaty of Pelindaba, signed protocols 1 and 2); Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; Treaty on Outer Space; Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco, signed Protocol 2); Treaty on Seabed Arms Control; and Treaty on the South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone (Treaty of Rarotonga, signed and ratified protocols 2 and 3).

China also is a party to the following international environmental conventions: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, and Whaling.

Relations by region and country


With China's growing influence around the world, Beijing has now set its efforts on Africa. China's focus in Africa is not a recent occurrence. In the 1960s and 1970s, Beijing's interest centered on building ideological solidarity. Following the Cold War, Chinese interests evolved into more pragmatic pursuits such as trade, investment, and energy.[16] Sino-African trade quadrupled between 2000 and 2006. China is Africa's third largest commercial partner after the US and France, and second largest exporter to Africa after France. It is notably ahead of former colonial power Britain in both categories.[17] Some western nations' hesitance to become closely involved with countries they believe to be poor in the human rights field, such as Sudan, have allowed China an opportunity for economic cooperation.[18]

Central Asia

As the Chinese economy booms, a major priority is securing natural resources to keep pace with demand, and investment into China's central Asian neighbors are doing leaps and bounds to meet this demand. Chinese oil companies have invested into Kazakh oil fields, China and Kazakhstan have constructed an oil pipeline from Kazakhstan to China and are planning to construct a natural gas pipeline. In Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, China has invested in hydroelectric projects. In addition to bolstering trade ties, Beijing has contributed aid and funding to the region's countries. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, of which China is a founding member, is also becoming increasingly important in Central Asian security and politics. Many observers believe that beyond fostering good-neighborly relations, China is also concerned with securing its borders as it emerges as a world power.[19]

Middle East

China's Critical Sea Lines of Communication. In 2004, over 80 percent of Chinese crude oil imports transited the Straits of Malacca, with less than 2 percent transiting the Straits of Lombok.

China's fast economic growth also means that it is consuming ever more energy. China is now the first largest consumer of petroleum products in the world after the United States. China has recently been carrying out a foreign policy in trying to secure and diversify sources of its energy (oil and natural gas) supplies from around the world. The Middle Eastern region, which contains the world's largest proven oil reserve, has been the focus of that policy. Roughly half of China's imported oil comes from the Middle East.

At the same time, these energy-producing Middle Eastern nations are keen to diversify their customer base away from over dependence on the Western market (Europe and North America) as a demand source and so they have begun to look at other rapidly growing markets such as China. In addition to the deepening bilateral relationship in the trade and energy sectors, China has an expanding body of other strategic interests in the greater Middle East region. This is manifested in its security relationships with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran, which entail WMD and ballistic missile cooperation. Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan are pivotal states in the region. They are increasingly likely to view China in coming years as an alternative source of security and as a counterbalance to American power.[20][21][22]

South Asia

China's current trade volume with all South Asian nations reaches close to US$20 billion a year. Out of all the states within the region, China has developed a strong relationship with Pakistan. This relationship extends beyond economic, defense, social and political spheres.

Relations stem from diplomatic overtures made between Deng Xiaoping and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto during the 1970s.[citation needed] More recently, China has signed several free trade agreements with Pakistan as well as several bilateral trade agreements such as the Early Harvest Agreement and the establishment of a duty free export zone in Pakistan's Northern Area's. Pakistan and China continue to remain the strongest of allies and trade and contacts have steadily increased over the years. China continues to invest heavily into Pakistan, and is providing assistance in the development of that country's 2nd major port at Gwadar[23] as well as improving infrastructure and the development of a pipeline from the said port towards China's western regions.[24] Cultural exchange was high, especially during the 70s, and the 90s. Trade and goodwill between citizens remain strong especially due to the bordered Muslims area of Xinjiang, who used Pakistan as a transit to Makkah for pilgrimage. Pakistani students go to China to study while Chinese workers come to Pakistan to work on infrastructure projects. Pakistan ceded a portion of Kashmir to China and both sides have no territorial disputes what so ever. They also share the Karakoram highway, the highest paved road in the world. China and Pakistan have and have believed to have collaborated on everything from Nuclear and space technology where help was provided by China to Pakistan, to cruise missile and naval technology, where Pakistan helped China get hold of western technology which it could otherwise not acquire.

China's bilateral trade with India accounts for US$13.6 billion a year, a number set to grow to US$25 billion in 2010.,[25] but its relations have been troubled because of territorial disputes and past conflicts.

Beijing runs trade surpluses with many partners, specifically Pakistan, however, also with Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Fast on the heels of the U.S. offer of nuclear power plants to India, China has offered Pakistan nuclear power plants of its own to meet its energy needs. Beijing also assists South Asian nations with low-cost financial capital, to help their development sector, especially with the current economically struggling countries of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal[26]

Southeast and East Asia

China's geopolitical ambitions focus on Southeast Asia, where Beijing is intent upon establishing a preeminent sphere of influence. China has pursued this ambition with a diplomatic campaign designed to bind the region to China - politically, economically, and militarily.[27]

Historically, China's relations with the region has been uneasy, due to the country's involvement with the Vietnam War, the Malayan Communist Party during Malayan Emergency and Communist Insurgency War in Malaysia, as well as the Communist Party of Indonesia and 30 September Movement in Indonesia. As a result, previously friendly relations with Indonesia under the Sukarno government broke off in 1967, and were not restored until 1990, while diplomatic relations with Malaysia were not established until 1974. China's conflict with the government of Vietnam over the support of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia resulted in the Sino-Vietnamese War and other border conflicts. China's relationship with Singapore is good, and the latter is one of only three countries that can enjoy visa-free entry to the country.[citation needed]

In 2010, the PRC claimed "indisputable sovereignty" over the South China Sea, but said that the other nations in the area could continue to navigate its waters.[28] Ted Carpenter of the Cato Institute has called these claims "breathtakingly bold".[29]

In 2011, China objected to a growing collation of nations that were grouping together to resist Chinese sovereignty over the South China Sea, saying that these nations could not "counterbalance and contain China as they expected."[30] Later that year the Chinese changed tack in order to "prevent more members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations from joining the Washington-led containment policy", through the use of Dollar Diplomacy.[31]


The end of the long-held animosity between Moscow and Beijing was marked by the visit to China by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989. After the 1991 demise of the Soviet Union, China's relations with Russia and the former states of the Soviet Union became more amicable as the conflicting ideologies of the two vast nations no longer stood in the way. A new round of bilateral agreements was signed during reciprocal head of state visits. As in the early 1950s with the Soviet Union, Russia has again become an important source of military matériel for China, as well as for raw materials and trade. Friendly relations with Russia have been an important advantage for China, offsetting its often uneasy relations with the United States. Relations with Europe, both Eastern and Western, generally have been friendly in the early 21st century, and, indeed, close political and trade relations with the European Union nations have been a major thrust of China's foreign policy in the 2000s. In November 2005, President Hu Jintao visited the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain and announced China's eagerness to enter into greater political and economic cooperation with its European partners.

Western hemisphere

Recent years have seen Beijing's growing economic and political influence in South America and the Caribbean. During a visit to Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Cuba in November 2004, Chinese President Hu Jintao announced US$100 billion worth of investment over the next decade.[32][33][34] For instance, Cuba is turning to Chinese companies rather than Western ones to modernize its crippled transportation system at a cost of more than US$1 billion, continuing a trend of favoring the fellow communist country that has made Beijing Cuba's second-largest trading partner after Venezuela in 2005.[35] In addition, China is expanding its military-to-military contacts in the region. China is training increasing numbers of Latin American and Caribbean region military personnel, mainly due to a three-year old U.S. law surrounding the International Criminal Court that has led to a sharp decline in U.S.-run training programs for the region.[36][37]


Caribbean regional relations with People's Republic of China are mostly based on trade, credits, and investments which have increased significantly since the 1990s. For many Caribbean nations the increasing ties with China have been used as a way to decrease long time over-dependence on the United States.

Additionally, China's policy in the region was the use of "dollar diplomacy" or the attempts to switch many nations from recognizing Taiwan as an independent nation instead to the recognition of the "One China" policy in exchange for Chinese investment.

More recently, during various visits by several Chinese diplomats to the Caribbean region a deal was signed for China to help establish the Confucius Institute at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies, with a possible additional one to be establish at the Cave Hill Campus.[38] These agreements are part of the basis of teaching Mandarin Chinese language courses at the regional University.[39][40]


The People's Republic of China maintains diplomatic relations with eight countries in Oceania: Australia, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. The Republic of China (Taiwan), by contrast, has diplomatic relations with the other six. The Pacific is an area of intense and continuous diplomatic competition between the PRC and the ROC, with several countries (Nauru, Kiribati, Vanuatu) having switched diplomatic support from one to the other at least once. Both the PRC and the ROC provide development aid to their respective allies. China's also wants to establish a preeminent sphere of influence in the Pacific Islands.

See also

Portal icon PRC portal
Portal icon China portal


  1. ^
  2. ^ Williams, David (08 January, 2008). "China-Taiwan tussle in Bim politics". BBC News. Retrieved 13 July 2010. "Beijing and Taipei often trade insults over which is using "dollar diplomacy" in the form of offers of aid or cheap loans to curry influence around the world. The 'One-China' policy ensures that nations cannot have official relations with both China and Taiwan." 
  3. ^ Ninvalle, Pete (27 April 2007). "China halts St. Lucia work". BBC News. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Erikson, Daniel (8 January 2010). "China in the Caribbean: The New Big Brother". Star Publishing Company. Retrieved 13 July 2013. "China’s overall strategy for the Caribbean has been driven by a desire to ensure the security of Chinese offshore financial holdings, woo countries with infrastructure projects and investment deals to ensure support for China in multilateral organizations, and promote the crucial "One China" policy to isolate Taiwan on the world stage." 
  5. ^ "Background Note: China". Bureau of Public Affairs. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Politics/Nation". The Times Of India. 23 August 2007. 
  7. ^ "Wargame with India not to put China in a closet: US admiral". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 24 August 2007. 
  8. ^ Business Standard Article - Russia ceded approximately 174 km² figure
  9. ^ Economist article including map of new Russia-China Border
  10. ^ EU arms embargo
  11. ^ Beijing likens Cheney criticism to nosy neighbor
  12. ^ Ho, Stephanie. "Chinese Foreign Relations to Focus on More Active Diplomacy." Voice of America, 7 March 2011.
  13. ^ ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China, 2011, Office of the Secretary of Defense
  14. ^ a b c d e f China, CIA World Factbook
  15. ^ Forsythe, Michael and Sakamaki, Sachiko China's Asian Charm Offensive in `Shambles' Over Disputes With Neighbors Bloomberg News, 26th September 2010
  16. ^ The Heritage Foundation China's Influence in Africa: Implications for the United States
  17. ^ International Committee of the Fourth International Western concern at China's growing involvement in Africa
  18. ^ Political Warfare in Sub-Saharan Africa: U.S. Capabilities and Chinese Operations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, March 2007
  19. ^ YaleGlobal Online Central Asia: China's Mounting Influence
  20. ^ The Washington Institute for Near East Policy China and Oil: The Middle East Dimension
  21. ^ MERIA China's WMD Foot In The Greater Middle East's Door
  22. ^ Asia Times China stakes its Middle East claim
  23. ^ PAKISTAN – CHINA Chinese-funded port in Baluchistan to give Beijing direct access to the Middle East - Asia News
  24. ^ Asia Times Online :: South Asia news : China-Pakistan rail link on horizon
  25. ^ People's Daily Boost all-weather partnership between China, Pakistan
  26. ^ UCLA Asia Institute China's March on South Asia
  27. ^ USCC China's Strategic Reach Into Southeast Asia
  28. ^ Pomfret, John. "Beijing claims 'indisputable sovereignty' over South China Sea." The Washington Post, 31 July 2010.
  29. ^ Barton, Paul C. "Guam central to Pacific military operations." Gannett, 19 October 2011.
  30. ^ Cheng, Dean. "China Grows More Belligerent, Unexpectedly." Aol Defense, 5 October 2011.
  31. ^ Ten Kate, Daniel. "China Plays Down Sea Spats to Woo Asean From U.S. ‘Siren Song’." Bloomberg News, 20 November 2011.
  32. ^ The Heritage Foundation China's Influence in the Western Hemisphere
  33. ^ CNS China Moving to Replace US Influence in Latin America
  34. ^ Columbia Daily Tribune Caribbean sees China acquire more influence
  35. ^ United Transportation Union Cuba turns to China for transport needs
  36. ^ China Increasing Military Ties in Latin America as Law Restricts US Military
  37. ^ Best, Tony (2008-10-24). "US calls off Barbados ban". Nation Newspaper. Archived from the original on 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  38. ^ Dells, Alicia (27 September 2009). "Stronger link". Barbados Advocate (Bridgetown, Barbados). Retrieved 27 September 2009. ""The acting Prime Minister added that Barbados looks forward to welcoming the Guangdong Art Troupe to the island next month and noted that Barbados was keen on having a Confucius Institute for the teaching of Mandarin and Chinese history at the UWI Cave Hill Campus in the near future."" 
  39. ^ Chinese And Caribbean Relations - By David Jessop, (Friday March 20th, 2009)
  40. ^ Confucius Institute opens at UWI in Jamaica,, (Saturday, February 14, 2009)

Further reading

  • Chen, J. China and the West (Hutchinson, 1979).
  • Chris Zambelis and Brandon Gentry, "China Through Arab Eyes: American Influence in the Middle East," Parameters, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 1, Spring 2008, pp. 60–72. [1]

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries: