China and the World: Dealing with the Reluctant Power


In the article, “China and the World: Dealing with the Reluctant Power”, Evan A. Feigenbaum has explained how a conservative China made a place in the world order and how to deal with it.

There is no doubt that China influence is increasing day by day, but the author points that it has certain apprehensions which are becoming a challenge for the US. Firstly, it is dissatisfied with the liberal order of the world because it pursues ‘noninterventionist’ policy, unlike the US. Secondly, China has created parallel institutions like BRICS and AIIB to give a message that it is discontented with the working of existing institutions. Therefore, it gave a message to the world that it has potential to challenge the system. And lastly, China being a populous country and economic might has to be made part of every environmental and global issue. Thus, in such situation, the influence of other countries tends to decrease anyway.

The above-mentioned challenges are posing threat to the dominance of US, however, the real threat is the role of China in Asia. In this case, the author gives some comforting facts for the US. To dig it deep, although China is thought of brainchild of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), it has countries that are US allies and part of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) too. Secondly, AIIB was established by China, but the second largest shareholder in it is India: a partner of US. And lastly, the One Belt and Road initiative of China to connect region is also not a unique attempt. Many countries in Asia has already carried it before China did. Even United State has been an investors in such projects before. Although, these initiatives are not posing a direct threat to the US, but it points towards the fact that soon, in near future, Asia will become much more integrated. This can be a threat to west than.

The interesting question in these developments in the world affairs is: what is the way out for the US. The author gives certain recommendations. The US should be more vigilant in creating any policy towards China so that it doesn’t lose the ground. Moreover, US should deal with its allies carefully and diplomatically. It should not push it to extreme decisions i.e. choosing between US and China. In addition to this. It should protect its rules, standards, and norms. It should get involved in trade and more partnership with China in various fields. It should take the support of its allies in places where Chinas influence is growing. It should involve China more in different institutions. It is a reality, that China is growing, but accepting this reality is the need of the hour on behalf of US, rather than opposing it. As China has started playing a greater role in the world affairs, United State is becoming more uncomfortable. In such a situation, Robert Zeollick, US deputy Secretary, has called for a policy change to deal with China i.e. make it a more “responsible stakeholder” in the world affairs (Feigenbaum, 2017).



Reason for Writing the Article

Evan A. Feigenbaum is a contemporary writer about China, India, and geopolitics in Asia and its effect on the politics of United States. Even the basis of this article is to throw light on how the rise of China is affecting the politics of US and what it can do in this regards. This article serves both as an eye-opener for the US about the moves of China in World generally and Asia specifically and also a a guide for the policymakers in the US.

Unclear Point and Reason

Although, this is an interesting piece of writing, what is unclear to me is the point that indeed China has opened to the world, but how will the US pursue its policy of making China a “responsible stakeholder” in the world affairs. It is becoming an economic might day by day and no force can set its course unless it wants to move in that direction.

Reason for Agreeing with Author

I agree with the author in many parts. He rightly explained that Asia is soon to become integrated partners.  The development across Asia points towards this fact. The start of One Belt One Road initiative is soon going to integrate Asia. Moreover, the permanent membership of India and Pakistan in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is going to further bring the countries in Asia closer. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is another forum for bringing Asians closer. All these developments are going to give tough time to the west soon.

Disagreement and Reason

Moreover, I disagree with the author stance that China has played little role in the stability of Afghanistan and is a free rider. It has remained an active partner in the Afghan peace talks and sided Pakistan and Russian bloc in this regards. It has been supporting Afghanistan both politically and economically since 2002 unofficially. It has also used SCO forum time and again to bring the issue of Afghanistan on the table.

Takeaway Points about International Relations

After reading this article, I came to know that how China is slowly spreading its influence around the globe. Unlike the US, the rise of China is through trade and economics rather than war. The example of China is an inspirational one, although it got independence years after the US did, still, it has gained too much and made allies.

 Interesting Part

The interesting part of the article is the recommendations given by the author to the United States. The author recommendations are of great importance for the US because it has always pursued a policy of war and weapons. Places, where it could have dealt with politics and diplomacy, were always maligned due to the use of weapons. The US can bolster the influence of China through soft tools like increasing trade, student exchange programs and cultural integration. This is the 21st century and the world was become increasingly globalized. Every country is trying to pursue its motives and wants peace. The US will lose its allies if it continued to use stubborn attitude as Trump administration is doing by slogans like America First, and Greater America.


Feigenbaum, E. A. (2017). China and the World: Dealing with the Reluctant Power”. Foreign Affairs.