The World China Wants

The World China Wants

How Power Will—and Won’t—Reshape Chinese Ambitions

Rana Mitter, Foreign Affairs – January/February 2021

China’s ambitious plans on the global stage and prime position in world affairs can without doubt be attributed to their leaders’ recognition of the states’ history and reflects the new lens through which the country wishes to be understood. Their soft power has transformed the world: their success story has become an inspiration for many developing countries and they have portrayed themselves as a vital international actor in the aid and relief of Covid-19. Their efforts to target climate change and their engagement in such discussions on an international level are lauded by top climate change experts, and a stark contrast of America’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

Despite this, Xi Jinping’s presidency has made the authoritarianism rule within the country even more apparent to outsiders. This is a major barrier in winning the hearts and minds of states across the world, especially as the consequences of such a regime spill across borders, with scepticism over the intentions of Huawei’s new 5G network in other countries.

Some say we are duly on course to a new world order, a Chinese hegemony and decline of the American dream. Others say China’s human rights records and what Western societies would deem as illegitimate behaviour make this impossible. In this Foreign Affairs article, Rana Mitter sets out her expectations for China’s growth in the coming years, how the country will use its power to expand its reach and the challenges it will face.

Read the full article on Foreign Affairs here.

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