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Building a globalised understanding of China is critical to the incorporation of China into the international system. Inclusion is an urgent matter. China holds a fifth of the global population, a growing portion of the economy, and has increasing potential political power. The structural interdependence of the global system, however, is outstripping cognition of its emergence. Chinese knowledge must join global scholarship. A significant result will be that issues addressed by the international system will be those which can be legitimately accepted by Chinese domestic actors. The selection of issues from a predominantly non- Chinese discourse undermines the possibility to achieve a common or globalised understanding of China. Foreign knowledge and issue selection must also be accepted by China, with this being achieved best through engagement. A stable, productive and harmonious international system will result.
Importantly then, this book is the product of interaction and collaboration between senior Chinese military, government and academic professionals and Western academics. A result of this interaction and thesis is that the issues discussed in this book are global in their effect on international relations, but derive from a Chinese perspective often understood as only regional. This results from the reality of Chinese development in that China is not yet a global great power, but rather the largest developing nation-state, with significant domestic constraints limiting and guiding foreign policy. The developed Western world may argue that China is ’rising’ and must engage in all global issues, but for this to be successful China must be engaged through its own terms.
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