China has one of the four oldest civilizations in the world and a written history of 4,000 years. China’s long history includes eras of primitive society, slave society, feudalism and semi feudalism, semi-colonialism and the present socialist society. The Chinese are very proud of their society. They value their own culture and religion but are open and pragmatic towards the religions and cultures of others. Chinese people in general are peaceful, hardworking and easily contented. They respect authority and elders and are patient with their fellows. They will, however, push and sacrifice for their children. The Chinese value modesty, reserved behavior and humility. They believe in harmony and tend to avoid confrontation. Chinese culture gives the Chinese people their basic identity. These core values are unique and consistent, shaped by a tradition of four thousand years of history and maintained by the same language.
There is only one set of core values in the Chinese national culture, despite all the differences among these people and their societies. This cultural value system is uniquely Chinese that distinguish itself not only from Western cultures, but also from other Eastern cultures (for example, Japanese culture). China is now a global actor of significant and growing importance. It is involved in regions and on issues that were once only peripheral to its interests and it is effectively using tools previously unavailable. It is no longer necessary to emphasize integrating China into the existing constellation of norms, rules, and institutions of the international community; by and large, China is already there.
It is influencing perceptions, relationships, and organizations all over the world. China’s international behavior is clearly altering the dynamics of the current international system, but it is not transforming its structure. China’s global activism is driven by an identifiable set of perceptions, objectives, and policies—some are long-standing and others are more current. Both China’s foreign policy objectives and its policies have evolved in the last decade but with more change in the latter than the former. In this sense, China has a distinct foreign policy strategy, to the extent that any nation has one. China’s strategy is best understood as comprising multiple layers, each adding to an understanding of the totality of it.
This monograph analyzes these layers, assesses the challenges for China in implementing its strategy, and evaluates the implications for Bangladesh and other countries interests and policy. The monograph analyzes the content, character, and execution of China’s foreign policy towards International actors. It examines how China views its security environment, how it defines its foreign policy objectives, how it is pursuing the objectives and the consequences for other countries economic and security interests. The breadth and the rapidity of change in China’s international activities are daunting to analyze, let alone to understand.