China is in the news daily. When Deng Xiaoping started the reforms in the Chinese economy an incredible and unique expansion period has begun in the most populated country on Earth. And with the role of China, that actually means in Chinese “the center of the world”, the international order started to be questioned. Is China looking forward to be the greatest power of the world and challenge the United States, or, is actually their partnership the key in this transformation?
There cannot be a simple answer to this question, but what is true is that China is a unique world itself. China has never acted as an expansionist empire beyond what they considered as their land. It is true that some regions as Tibet and Xinjiang are culturally different and had in the past some autonomy. It is also true that in the past the influence sphere was within the surrounding lands to the “reign of the center”. Even Chinese merchants were travelling and having contact with many regions of the world, they never try to colonize or control any region beyond China.
China is close and open. Close when it comes to culture and politics. Open in terms of economy.
The central question will be if China will continue with is millennial traditional tendency to remain close in terms of politics and culturally speaking. If so, there is no challenge to the United States hegemony and the relation will continue as a Win-Win model.
If not, we can expect a troubled world were direct clashes will not be a norm, but indirect yes.Just as a personal opinion I have to say that the best for the 21st century is to make multilateralism stronger. International organizations and the global economy are there to help.