Foreign policy

Xu Hui Simon SHEN

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

2 Citations (Scopus)


China in the 21st century faces a mixture of old and new challenges. The traditional study of foreign policy is often conducted on a linear scale: the making of foreign policy is the exclusive responsibility of the government; and national interests of the state and the policy making process are handled by elites only. Such a top-down approach has inevitably neglected the fact that the discipline of international relations is increasingly multidimensional in nature contemporarily. In the case of China, the country has undergone subtle but revolutionary changes in foreign relations, emerging from a socialist state which was revisionist in nature from the perspectives of the status quo to a rising power which aspires to become a contemporary status quo defender. This chapter provides a brief description of contemporary Chinese foreign policy and is presented in five sections. First, it reviews the development of Chinese foreign policy in contemporary history since the reform era begun in 1978; second, it identifies the key differences between the contemporary Hu era policies and what went before; third, it discusses the formal and informal processes which impact the foreign policy decision making process; fourth, it examines various bilateral relations and dynamics between China and other major actors in the world; and finally, new and non-traditional agendas and challenges which confront China in this increasingly globalized world order are discussed. Copyright © 2012 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of contemporary China
EditorsWilliam S TAY, Alvin Y SO
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd
ISBN (Print)9789814350082
Publication statusPublished - 2012


Shen, S. (2012). Foreign policy. In W. S. Tay, & A. Y. So (Eds.), Handbook of contemporary China (pp. 173-204). Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.


  • China
  • Foreign policy
  • International relations
  • Post-Cold War world order


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