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China’s Quasi-Superpower Diplomacy

Prospects and Pitfalls

By Willy Lam
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This report looks at China’s much-enhanced projection of hard and soft power, particularly ways in which Beijing is waging quasi-superpower diplomacy to bolster the country’s preeminence in the new world order. The diplomatic and geopolitical implications of China’s precipitous rise are thoroughly appraised.


2009 will go down in history as a watershed for the epochal expansion of China’s global influence. With its economy predicted to grow at 8 percent despite the world financial crisis, the People’s Republic of China is widely regarded as a prime locomotive for economic recovery worldwide. The People’s Liberation Army is building nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, and the country’s first astronaut is expected to set foot on the moon before 2015. Taking advantage of the damage that the financial crisis has dealt the American laissez-faire system, the Chinese Communist Party is also gunning for a novel international financial architecture, or one that is not dominated by the United States.

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