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Chinese global orders: socialism, tradition, and nation in China-Russia relations

Callahan, William A. ORCID: 0000-0001-6103-0586 (2023) Chinese global orders: socialism, tradition, and nation in China-Russia relations. Issues and Studies, 59 (2). ISSN 1013-2511

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Identification Number: 10.1142/S1013251123400088


While many use rational IR theory to explain Chinese foreign policy behavior, this paper follows global IR to employ interpretivist theory to examine how Chinese elites understand their country's role in the world. In particular, it explores the Chinese global order ideas of socialism, tradition, and nation through a comparative analysis of how they work in China-Russia relations, especially after China's 20th Communist Party Congress in 2022. The first section presents a critical analysis of the realist understanding of the China-Russia-U.S. strategic triangle. It argues that the socialist concept of "united front work"better explains Chinese (and Russian) policy in terms of short-term "tactical triangles."To probe China's long-term global order ideas, the second section explores narratives of tradition to examine the concentric circles model of global order seen in Chinese tianxia and Russian Eurasianism. To understand these competing Russocentric and Sinocentric global orders, the third section explores how each country's official historiography highlights narratives of the nation and especially how national rejuvenation requires correcting the "national humiliation"of lost territories. Rather than see these narratives in a linear chronological history - i.e., from tradition to socialism to nationalism - this paper considers how they overlap in socialism, tradition, and nation, a non-linear dynamic triad of global order ideas. It concludes first that further research is necessary to examine the interrelation of these three narratives: while nation and tradition are often employed to support the overarching narrative of socialism in recent years, this could certainly change. The conclusion then argues that while these narratives may be coherent theoretically, they have not been very successful in achieving Beijing and Moscow's foreign policy objectives.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 Issues & Studies and World Scientific Publishing Company
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2023 16:39
Last Modified: 26 May 2024 05:33

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