China’s Role in Afghanistan: A Capitalist Peace Approach
©2014 Textbook 74 Pages
The time has come to finally solve the quagmire in Afghanistan. Many recent concerns have been raised regarding the situation. For example, one of the main concerns is whether there could be another way that could lead to Afghanistan’s security. This study attempts to address Chinese role in contributing to Afghanistan’s stability through economic means. China in many ways should start to be seen as a potential factor that could lead to the stabilization of its own bordering region. Nowadays, many countries are rather afraid of Chinese policies and tend be rather cautious towards it. The solution for that would be that countries rather than being afraid of Chinese policy should take a more opportunistic approach, where China is seen as a country to benefit others. <br>Chinese reluctance to be militarily involved in Afghanistan has presented huge criticisms towards its policy, mainly from the U.S.’ point of view. China is even being considered as a ‘free rider’ in Afghanistan. Meaning that at the expense of others that try to contribute to a more secure Afghanistan, China is getting its economic benefits out of this country without taking too much care to its security. For the time being, it seems like a controversy where China wants to invest heavily into Afghanistan, but does not want to contribute to any military interventions for its security sake. The question that lies ahead is whether China has any interests in a secure Afghanistan and how far China is willing to contribute to the process of stabilizing Afghanistan. Could the economical collaboration become an important aspect that contributes to more security in Afghanistan? Could the capitalist peace theory give some deeper understanding in this respect? Answering these questions is not something that can be done easily. One of the reasons is that in the field of studies about this particular issue, not much has been researched about. Both countries do express some interests in mutual cooperation, however, to clearly come to a conclusion of whether China is or could be an important factor that would lead to Afghanistan’s development and stability requires further research. Nevertheless, enough information exists to shed some light on the issue through the presentation of the case study as well as to provide a starting point for broader analyses.
Table Of Contents
1.1. Starting Point: Problem Diagnosis
There is a growing concern about Afghanistan's future. The time has come to finally
solve the quagmire in Afghanistan. Many recent concerns have been raised regarding
the situation. One is the planned withdrawal of combat forces in July 2011. U.S.
President Barack Obama announced on 22 June 2011 that the process of withdrawing
the U.S. forces from Afghanistan would start in July 2011.
Many questions about
Afghanistan's future are being raised. For example, one of the main concerns is
whether there could be another way that could lead to Afghanistan's security.
Geographically, Afghanistan borders six countries. Among its neighbors, the biggest
and economically wealthiest country by far is China. Even though China is the
country Afghanistan shares the shortest border line (76 km) a lot of potential
collaboration could be very beneficial not only for Afghanistan, but also for China
and the whole region. China is now the second largest economy and is ever
expending, its demand for energy-rich resources is increasing. This reason makes it
enough for China to have close interdependent relationships with the rest of the
world and especially with the countries surrounding it. China is seriously planning to
look beyond its borders to strengthen regional cooperation and to further unite
regional states. China has an increased desire to present and promote the concept of
`a harmonious world' consisting of a lasting peace accompanied by development;
where all countries work together to achieve this common goal.
For China to fulfill its goals of further development, it is important to transfer some
attention to Afghanistan. A secure Afghanistan should be in China's interests. With
regard to that, the newly discovered minerals in Afghanistan could become of crucial
importance to China's economy. Furthermore, Afghanistan is progressively turning
Landler, Mark and Cooper Helene. Obama Will Speed Pullout From War in Afghanistan. The New
York Times. 22 June 2011 and The White House. Remarks by the President on the Way Forward in
Afghanistan. GlobalSecurity.org. 22 June 2011.
The world media is increasingly drawing attention to Afghanistan in terms of U.S. starting
withdrawal from the country. Different solutions on how to contribute to Afghanistan's security are
being raised as well. A lot of political discussions have been issued lately about how to contribute to
expanding different possibilities that would eventually lead to Afghanistan's build up, development
and security. This makes it extremely difficult to try to put efforts in its stabilization process. One of
the ways that the U.S. is increasingly becoming aware of is trying to help Afghanistan to get to use the
trillion dollars worth of minerals under its soil and to get investors to invest in them. According to the
U.S department of defense and many officials Afghanistan is endowed with mineral resources that
could be the leading tool for its stabilization and development. This of course is only the case if it is
being done properly. For further interest see Martin, Rachel, et al. "For Afghanistan, Wealth Is Just
Below The Surface." NPR. United States. 5 June 2011. NPR. Podcast.
towards China and is seeing an opportunity that would lead to its own stability by
opening its mineral fields for economic purposes.
This study attempts to address Chinese role in contributing to Afghanistan's stability
through economic means. China in many ways should start to be seen as a potential
factor that could lead to the stabilization of its own bordering region. Nowadays,
many countries are rather afraid of Chinese policies and tend be rather cautious
towards it. The solution for that would be that countries rather than being afraid of
Chinese policy should take a more opportunistic approach, where China is seen as a
country to benefit others.
Chinese reluctance to be militarily involved in Afghanistan has presented huge
criticisms towards its policy, mainly from the U.S.' point of view. China is even
being considered as a `free rider' in Afghanistan. Meaning that at the expense of
others that try to contribute to a more secure Afghanistan, China is getting its
economic benefits out of this country without taking too much care to its security.
For the time being, it seems like a controversy where China wants to invest heavily
into Afghanistan, but does not want to contribute to any military interventions for its
security sake. The question that lies ahead is whether China has any interests in a
secure Afghanistan and how far China is willing to contribute to the process of
stabilizing Afghanistan. Could the economical collaboration become an important
aspect that contributes to more security in Afghanistan?
Answering these questions is not something that can be done easily. One of the
reasons is that in the field of studies about this particular issue, not much has been
researched about. Both countries do express some interests in mutual cooperation,
however, to clearly come to a conclusion of whether China is or could be an
important factor that would lead to Afghanistan's development and stability requires
further research. Nevertheless, enough information exists to shed some light on the
issue through the presentation of the case study as well as to provide a starting point
for broader analyses.
1.2. Political and Scholarly Relevance of the Work
The current thesis came mainly to existence due to increasing debates on how to find
a way for Afghanistan that would additionally improve this country's development
and eventually lead to its stabilization. The study therefore is politically-relevant
because it examines documents, journals, articles and other papers that deal with
China's increasing engagement in Afghanistan. Therefore, the aim is to see to what
extent the Chinese interest in Afghanistan can contribute to the improvement of the
current security policy within Afghanistan as well as to some extent lead to China's
security and the whole region itself. By providing arguments and data, this thesis
would start a rather different way of approaching that would eventually lead to
securing, stabilizing and developing Afghanistan. Basically it is a study about testing
whether through economical means a security policy could be achieved, by providing
solid theoretical and empirical explanation.
It is important to note that this is a new field of research; that is why the scholarly
relevance of the present thesis is in a way twofold. First, no comprehensive study
thus far has systematically analyzed the economic factor as a peace stabilizing factor
in the case of the Sino-Afghan relations. Second, not much study has been conducted
about how investments and development in Afghanistan could actually lead to a
stable state. Furthermore, almost no scientific research has been conducted about
China possibly leading the main role as a stabilizing factor in Afghanistan, where
China's economic policy can be of benefit to Afghanistan. It is a fact that a lot of
media coverage, think tanks, NGOs and other institutions deal with China and its
importance, however, not many have done any profound research about China and its
behavior. More research needs to be done. This study is both politically- and
scholastically-relevant and could be a starting point for further development.
1.3. Guiding Questions, Research Goals, Hypothesis
This study is going to focus mainly on the main question of what kind of interest
China has in Afghanistan and to what extent it could contribute to Afghanistan's
stability. China, by developing its interests in Afghanistan, could to some extent
develop both sides, where Afghanistan and China could have a win-win situation.
The economic factor is playing a leading role in this case. Still, is it going to be used
as a factor of stability?
The goal of this study is to give a rather different perspective that could lead to a
more stable Afghanistan. The ultimate goal is to show that through economics and
investments a more secure, developed and stable Afghanistan could become the
reality. The reason for choosing China to become a leading country in contributing to
Afghanistan's security is based on several aspects. The first one is that China is
geographically ideally located since it borders with Afghanistan. Second, China is
economically developed and has a growing tendency, which makes it a perfect
contributor for further investments in Afghanistan's resources and infrastructure.
Third, China would have a very close market of minerals, mainly copper, of which it
is the main consumer.
Fourth, by contributing to a more secure Afghanistan, China's
issues of concern like natural resources, the Xinjiang region and illicit drug
trafficking could become problems of the past. Fifth, Afghanistan is increasingly
looking towards the east rather than the west for closer cooperation. Particularly the
case is China because it has a more supportive policy towards Afghanistan's politics
rather than Western countries.
This paper's main hypothesis is that economic interdependence leads to more
security. The more a country is economically developed due to investments the more
it leads to its own stability and security. The Sino-Afghan case would show that the
more China invests in Afghanistan the more Afghanistan is going to be stable. The
economic approach is crucial in this case. Economic interdependence between
Afghanistan and China would eventually lead both countries to fulfill their own
interests and bring more security.
1.4. Method of Inquiry and Structure of the Work
This study is going to use the capitalist peace theory as a supportive argument that
would further contribute to the idea of economic factors leading to more security, as
the theory itself promotes. For the current study, the reason for choosing particularly
Afghanistan is both for its high level of insecurity as well as for being one of the
poorest countries in the world.
Regarding the work structure, it contains an introductory part and four main chapters
leading to the conclusion with results and recommendation. Chapter 2 is going to
highlight China's growing economic power and the increased energy demand. This
chapter will also show China's desire to present and promote the concept of `a
harmonious world' consisting of a lasting peace accompanied by development;
where all countries work together to achieve this common goal. Another principle
that will be explored is the `New Security Concept'. This concept is based on the
idea that emphasizing common interests will contribute to social progress. The main
way in doing so is achieved primarily through economic persuasion. Finally, the
Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Global Copper Market to Reach 24.82 Million Metric Tons by 2015.
Report. 11 February 2011. See also Copper China. Bring Copper To Life 2011. Shanghai New
International Expo Centre 2011. 13 July 2011.
chapter will show that some critics question the validity of the `New Security
Concept'. Chapter 3 is going to demonstrate the theoretical part of the study which is
going to support the main idea of the study.
Chapter 4 will illuminate Chinese fast economic growth that leads to greater needs.
At this point Afghanistan becomes also a country of interest. Furthermore, the
chapter is going to briefly present the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO),
since it is also showing a growing interest in Afghanistan and one of its main leader
countries is China. The SCO is also explicitly cited by China as an example of
China's new security diplomacy.
Throughout the chapter three main Chinese
concerns regarding Afghanistan are going to be presented. The first concern is
Xinjiang related, whose stability is of great concern for China. Another issue that is
going to be presented is drug smuggling. The final concern that is going to be
presented is natural-resource related. Finally, Afghanistan's point of view is going to
be illustrated in the last part of this chapter, where a great possibility exists for
Afghanistan to be opening up its mineral resources for China in return for
development and stabilization.
Chapter 5 will highlight Chinese actions taken in Afghanistan. One of the main
examples shown in this chapter is going to be the Afghan Aynak Copper fields,
where China already invested over $ 3.4 billion,
to exploit the copper. Furthermore
this investment is going to bring further Chinese investments into Afghanistan's
infrastructure. Tables provided in this chapter are additionally going to support and
show the growing tendency of Chinese investments into Afghanistan. Finally, the
chapter is going to show some other views that are rather critical of Chinese
investments in Afghanistan.
as a final point, a conclusion will be drawn with final results, findings,
recommendations, possibilities and further proposals.
1.5. Theories and Methods
As already pointed out, the main aim of this paper is to show whether China could
through economic means contribute to stability within Afghanistan and eventually to
the whole Central Asian region itself. Furthermore, questions like whether China is
Gill, Bates. Rising Star - China's New Security Diplomacy. Washington, D.C., United States. The
Brookings Institution , 2007: 37.
Torjesen, Stina. Fixing Afghanistan: what role for China? Norwegian Peace-building Center. Noref
Policy Brief. No. 7. (2010): 3.
interested in a secure Afghanistan are closely followed. However, to support the
main idea that economical activities like investments and collaboration could
contribute for more stability and security, it is important to look at it also from the
The discussions that economic interdependence leads to more security are attributed
to economic liberalism. The particular theory that deals with this phenomenon is the
capitalist peace theory. It is a theory of liberal peace based on capitalism and
common interests. According to Gratzke, "capitalism encourages cooperation among
states by creating conditions that make war unappealing or unnecessary."
the theory talks about how economic cooperation between countries that leads them
to more development eventually contributes to more security and makes them rarely
to never engage in war with each other, or even participate in minor disputes. As
already pointed out, Chapter 2 is going to present the theoretical part of this study.
Still, it is important to note that this is a case study that is theoretically driven. The
theory in this case serves as a supporting method that is to an extent tested.
Before illustrating the Sino-Afghan relations in more detail and providing main
points of why it is important for these two countries to cooperate, the presentation of
the capitalist peace theory would be best to support the main idea of this relationship.
This means that China by economic cooperation and investments in Afghanistan
could contribute to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, China and the whole region.
The second chapter also presents the views of several scholars that argue that the
capitalist theory does not only apply to democracies, but also to autocracies. The
capitalist peace mainly supports the argument that economic interdependence makes
states less likely to get into conflicts. Furthermore, the chapter will show that as
much as the capitalist peace is important for interstate stability, it is also for intrastate
Moreover, this paper is a case study method that tries to present a systematic way of
looking at events by collecting data, evaluating information and reporting the
outcomes. The result might help to understand the process and to see what may be
important for future research. In doing so, the case study wants to test the hypothesis.
Gratzke, Erik. Chapter 2: Economic Freedom and Peace. Economic Freedom of the World: 2005
Annual Report. (2005): 29.
1.6. Sources and Literature/State of Current Research
This study is mainly based on journals, government documents and press releases, a
few research reports, newspaper articles, as well as think tank reports. Since this is a
rather new field of research it is important to note that not much detailed work has
been done, to examine all the issues that are going to be presented in this study. Not
much comprehensive and deep analysis has been conducted on this topic. The needed
information was very limited, many of the required literature was not available.
Sometimes, the source reliability and accuracy were questionable. However, there is
enough information available to start the study and leave more space open for future
The journals, research reports and think tank reports all come from reputable
researchers. Recognized institutes, think tanks and journals where this information
was found mostly came from institutes like the Council of Foreign Relations,
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), Norwegian Peacebuilding Centre, Foreign
Affairs, German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), International Review,
Institute of South Asian Studies, the German Marshall Fund of the United States and
many others. In addition, several governmental institutions have been used, such as
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ministry of commerce of the People's
Republic of China. Furthermore, articles used come from world recognized
newspapers like the New York Times, BBC News, Spiegel Online, China Daily, and
many others. Finally, the literature about the capitalist peace theory comes from most
known scholars that deal with this particular topic. One of the main researchers, who
argue that economic development and free markets are responsible for the observed
peace, is Erik Gartzke. Many other names are prominent who promote similar ideas
that eventually lead to a capitalist peace including Erich Weede, Indra de Soysa,
Hanne Fjelde, J. Joseph Hewitt, Gerald Schneider, Nils Petter Gleditsch and others.
For the purpose of this work a lot of emphasis was put to try to find the best available
scholars, thinkers, researchers for the needed topic, and a lot of effort was spent for
the information to be as reliable as possible. Still, one has to keep in mind that the
field of research as well as the theory is still at the beginners phase and further
research needs to be done to fully cover all the elements.
China's Foreign Security Policy
This chapter illustrates China's growing economic power and the increased energy
demand. To achieve rapid and continuous economic growth, China is seriously
planning to look beyond its borders to strengthen regional cooperation and to further
unite regional states. The chapter will also show China's desire to promote the
concept of `a harmonious world' consisting of lasting peace accompanied by
development; where all countries work together to this common goal. To be sure,
mutual suspicion and distrust are obstacles to effectively implementing this concept.
Another principle that will be explored is the `New Security Concept'. This concept
is based on the idea that emphasizing common interests will contribute to social
progress. The `New Security Concept' introduces a view of the world, and China's
role within it, where force is no longer a valid instrument for conflict resolution.
Instead dialogue and mutual cooperation will be used to resolve disputes. Further, the
way of promoting such dialogue and mutual cooperation will be used to resolve
disputes. Finally, finally the chapter will show that some critics question the validity
of the `New Security Concept'. This is because they do not believe it can be
implemented equally because of social, cultural and economic differences among the
countries. Some would even further argue that the `New Security Concept' is just "a
tool to pull the wool over Western eyes."
2.1. China's Emerging Awareness
Since the late 1970s the People's Republic of China (PRC) has experienced
extraordinary economic development through its transformation and opening policies
for over 30 years. China's current international significance is to a large extent based
on its rapidly growing economy. The Chinese economy became the world's second
largest by overtaking Japan; in addition it also became a recognizable world power.
China's economic power continues to increase every year with an average steady
economic growth of almost 10% for the past 26 years.
The country has a great
impact on the global economy as a whole. China is the most populated country in
the world and its economic power is ever expending, this makes it the world's largest
Etizioni, Amitai. Is China a responsible stakeholder? International Affairs. Vol. 87. No. 3. (2011):
U.S. Department of State. Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Washington D.C., United States.
Background Note: China. 5 Aug. 2010.
which simultaneously shows that demands for energy efficient
resources are enormous. These reasons among many others force China to have close
interdependent relationships with the rest of the world and especially with the
countries surrounding it. Many countries benefit from these relationships including
Throughout its recent history China has experienced a variety of changes. According
to Li Mingjiang,
China has changed from a "revolutionary state to a developmental
state, from a planned economy to a trading state and from an extremely opaque
Leninist party-state to an authoritarian state."
The primary goal of reforms in the
late 1970s was to accomplish rapid and continuous economic growth. The goal of the
new Chinese foreign policy had been peace and development. To achieve this
regional states are very important. On the 16
Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
Congress in 2002 in Beijing it has been said that in the next twenty years China
wants to strengthen regional cooperation and further unite regional states. Economic
growth and an ever growing demand for energy forces China's to look beyond its
own borders. The country is increasingly investing in other states to secure a stable
supply of various energy resources and raw materials. These resources are needed to
supply and satisfy a huge population as well as to sustain manufacturing. According
to estimates, total consumption of such minerals like aluminum, copper, iron and
nickel accounted for 7% of the world total consumption in 1990, 15% in 2000 and
20% in 2004 with the tendency to a continuing increase.
Although China is well integrated economically, it is politically very much isolated
from the rest of the world. However, to promote peaceful coexistence, China is in a
search of different approaches from other great powers. For example, by applying
self-restraint on various issues and promoting the formation of win win situations.
In the past decades China has repeatedly emphasized its peaceful intentions. It wants
to participate in the international order in a productive manner and contribute to
peace throughout the world, mainly through the `new security concept.' China wants
Institute for Energy Research. Texas, United States. China: World's Largest Energy Consumer;
Surpasses the U.S. 6 Aug. 2010.
Li Mingjiang is an assistant professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at
Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is also an editor of several books on China's
international relations in Asia.
Mingjiang, Li. "Domestic Sources of China's Soft Power Approach." China Security, 5. 2 (2009):
Ibid. pp 37-40.
Ibid. pp 41-42.
to be different than have been emerging great powers in the past that have fought
wars with existing ones. For China to respond to various threats like terrorism,
international crime, drug trafficking and many more it focuses on increasing its
national defense spending and modernize the military power.
2.1.1. The `Harmonious World' Policy
At the 17
CCP Congress in 2007, China's President Hu Jintao pointed out that
China in today's world situation should promote its policy of promoting the building
of "a harmonious world of lasting peace accompanied by development."
concept is the view of an ideal international community that President Hu Jintao has
presented. In his opinion countries need to come together to overcome various
problems such as international crime, drug trafficking, environmental pollution,
diseases and many other. These problems are not restricted by borders; they are
cross-boundary troubles that require international cooperation. He divided the
`harmonious world' into four specific areas that need to be addressed.
The first is to "uphold multilateralism to realize common security." Basically this
means that all countries should unite to fight global security threats. The second is to
"uphold mutually beneficial cooperation to achieve common prosperity." The
president said that "development has a bearing on the vital interests of the people of
all countries, and also on the removal of global security threats from their sources.
Without universal development and common prosperity, our world can hardly enjoy
tranquility." He also pointed out that developed nations should accept heavier
responsibility for opening markets, debt forgiveness and other forms of assistance to
have coordinated and balanced world development. The third is to "uphold the spirit
of inclusiveness to build a harmonious world together." The diversity of countries
and cultures can benefit everyone as people begin and continue to learn from one
another. Of course, every nation's right to determine its own social system and
method of development should be respected. The fourth is to "promote UN reform
actively and prudently" since they promote cooperation, development and peace.
The idea of the `harmonious world' is about China's foreign policy norms and
providing instructions to implement and achieve these goals. If one would connect
National Institute for Defense Studies. Tokyo, Japan. NIDS China Security Report. Mar. 2011: 2.
About the harmonius world of lasting peace accompanied by development see article written by Yu
National Institute for Defense Studies. Tokyo, Japan. NIDS China Security Report. Mar. 2011: 6-7.
this policy to a theory, rather than putting the `harmonious world' policy under the
realist theory, which would mean that generally rising powers lead to war with little
possibility of a peaceful power shift. The `harmonious world' policy is more a liberal
point of view which stresses mutual-dependence mainly in an economic sense among
It is crucial to remember this is a long-term goal, requiring the
effort of many nations in addition to China. It is more than just a state of peace; it is a
state of harmony. This harmony requires not only peaceful coexistence, but mutual
assistance to advance progress for all nations.
Mistrust is clearly an obstacle to implementing the `harmonious world' policy. In
terms of politics and security, a lot of countries are doubtful of how an emerging
China will behave in terms of using force to achieve Superpower status. Mutual
distrust that eventually leads to a zero-sum game and suspicion makes this policy
harder to implement, especially in light of China's non-democratic policy.
2.2. China's New Security Concept
Since around mid-1990s China's regional as well as global security program has
significantly changed. Ever since that period China has established stronger ties with
Central Asia, Southeast Asia, South America, Europe and Africa. The New Security
Concept comes from principles promoted by the Chinese government since the
It particularly draws from the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence that
were introduced at the Bandung Conference of developing world nations in 1955.
The Chinese have advocated these principles for decades until the 90s when they
actually had open appeals for the `new' system. In July 1998 Beijing's Information
Office of the State Council issued a white paper where fundamental principles of the
new security concept have been introduced:
The world is undergoing profound changes which require the discard of the
Cold War mentality and the development of a new security concept and a new
international political, economic and security order responsive to the needs of
our times. The core of the new security concept should be mutual trust, mutual
benefit, equality and cooperation.
Xintian, Yu. "Harmonious World and China's Road of Peaceful Development," International
Review, Vol. 45. (2006): 3-4.
Gill, Bates. Rising Star - China's New Security Diplomacy. (2007): 4.
The five principles include mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty,
mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual
benefit, and peaceful coexistence.
The UN Charter, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and other
universally recognized principles governing international relations should
serve as the political basis for safeguarding peace while mutually beneficial
cooperation and common prosperity [is] its economic guarantee. To conduct
dialogue, consultation and negotiation on an equal footing is the right way to
solve disputes and safeguard peace.
Only by developing a new security concept and establishing a fair and
reasonable new international order can world peace and security be
China's New Security Concept is founded on common interest that contributes to
social progress. It looks for common security through joint cooperation. Changes
have been introduced. Rather than intervening militarily and politically, a different
approach should be taken. Specifically, it aims for security through economic,
technological, environmental, scientific and other means. According to China the
new security concept should focus on building mutual trust by promoting security
solely through cooperation.
2.2.1. China's Perspective
In the post-Cold War period that is in the late 1990s, the People's Republic of China
developed, introduced and promoted a new security concept as their security policy
in form of dialogue and cooperation rather than using force and threats to achieve
lasting peace. China's position paper on the new security concept explains that, in the
current Chinese world view, force can no longer be use to resolve disputes and
conflicts. Instead dialogue and cooperation are being introduced, which is known as
China's New Security Concept.
According to the current director of the Stockholm
International Peace Research Institute Dr. Bates Gill, there are several motivations
for China's new security diplomacy. The first point is that China tries to maintain a
more or less stable international environment; especially within its spheres of
influence so it can focus on its own economic, political and social issues. China's
own areas are mainly considered to be its neighboring states. The 2002 Chinese
defense white paper point out that, "a developing China needs a peaceful
China's Information Office of the State Council. China's National Defense. "The Security
Situation." Beijing, People's Republic of China. (2000):34-35.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China. China's Position Paper on the New
Security Concept. Bejing, People's Republic of China. 31 July 2002.
international environment and a favorable climate in its periphery."
The next point
is that China wants to avoid the obvious security dilemma that its neighbors could
have in reassuring mutual beneficial and peaceful relations.
Here is where the
promotion of the notion of the `harmonious world' comes into being.
In China's view, the new security concept should include several aspects:
The concept of interests. A country's view of security far more exceeds
military aspects; its interests are also economic, social, and political among
others. Particularly China is stressing economic development and improving
people's living standards.
The concept of threats. A country can face external, but also internal threats.
China looks at the internal threats very seriously. The collapse of the Soviet
Union in Chinese view is a good example where internal poverty and slow
economic development lead to these results. So, to avoid these domestic
threats, economic, social and environmental concerns have to be taken
seriously and addressed timely.
The concept of various approaches to achieve security. In this concept China
acknowledges that threats do not affect only single countries and that they
can be spread beyond borders. That is why cooperation and multilateral
strategies are important and win-win situations can be achieved.
The concept of the world. In this concept China expresses its view of the
world where it thinks that interdependence, a multi-polar power distribution
and the establishments of various institutions have made the world a more
secure and stable place.
According to these concepts, some parallels to the neo-liberal and western IR
theories can be drawn, in particular to the capitalist peace theory. This IR theory is
going to be presented in the second chapter. It seems as China' new security concept
is becoming an important element of its foreign policy. To implement the security
concept mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination must be included.
Mutual trust is understood to mean frequent dialogue regarding each other's security
and defense policies. Under mutual benefits it is meant to respect each other's
security interests and ensuring its own security interests while trying to accomplish
China's Information Office of the State Council. China's National Defense. "The Security
Situation." Beijing, People's Republic of China. (2002): 1.
Gill, Bates. Rising Star - China's New Security Diplomacy. (2007): 10.
Mingquan, Zhu. GIS Working Paper (Hong Kong Baptist University). "Beyond Westphalia and
New Security Concepts." No.6 (2005).
common security. The equality element means that all countries regardless of size
and power are equal members of the international community. Finally, coordination
means that countries which face disputes should seek peaceful agreements through
negotiation to resolve security issues.
In summation, after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union
China saw great changes happening in the world. To maintain competitiveness in the
world arena without having to face internal and external security problems as well as
huge governmental changes that would eventually lead to its collapse China is
working actively to put the new security concept into practice. The most important
way to long-term security in its surroundings China finds in the economic exchange
and interaction. "China is working closely with other countries in the region for a
new multi-channel, multi-dimensional and multi-faceted new economic cooperation
in this part of the world."
Economic rather than military aspects are the elements
receiving the greatest emphasis.
However, under a military dimension it more or less only states that nations should
not "resort to military threats or aggression."
Still, in the area of military security,
the concept includes several additional aspects. The military should defend a
country's territorial integrity and sovereignty, protect state unification and fight
foreign aggression. The military policies of every country should be defensive rather
than offensive. This would include avoiding conflicts and wars and preventing
further conflicts. Other aspects where military forces should focus are providing
humanitarian aid, fighting terrorism and drug trafficking.
However, keep in mind
the concept of the new security policy is oriented much more economically and
politically rather than militarily.
Under the new security concept the idea of China's Peaceful Development emerged.
This policy asserts that China can prosper economically in a peaceful environment
and also be a vital contributor to world peace. The policy also states that China will
develop economically by taking the advantage of a peaceful world environment. At
the same time, China will contribute to global peace through its own development.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China. China's Position Paper on the New
Security Concept. Bejing, People's Republic of China. 31 July 2002.
Pollpeter, Kevin. U.S. China Security Management, Assessing the Military-to-Military
Relationship. 2004: 38.
Finkelstein, David M. China's "New Concept of Security." Globalsecurity.org. (2003).
Pan, Esther. The Promise and Pitfalls of China's `Peaceful Rise.' Council on Foreign Relations. 14
This mainly was promoted by China due to international fears of its growing
economic and political might, to show the world that they should view China as a
facilitator for implementing and maintaining peace and security. The `peaceful
development' policy has been successful in many aspects. As David Denoon says,
"China has shifted from the very aggressive and violent policy of 1970s and 1980s,
where it was quite willing to use force, to a much more diplomatic route in the
This is where China's role becomes important regarding Afghanistan,
using the new security concept to promote economic development and both
international and external security.
2.2.2. Others Points of View
Some critics do not view China's security policy as a mechanism for profound
economic development and peaceful environmental change. They question whether
the policy can actually be applied in "real world" conditions. It is only a set of good
sounding principles without great possibilities of being implemented. Some argue
that it is very anti-U.S. oriented and only attractive in theory. Japan, the European
Union and the U.S. seem to have a slightly different view of international security
than represented by China. They do think that NATO's presence is crucial for
security and military interventions that are an integral part of it. Moreover, NATO is
quite attractive to most Eastern Europe and some Central Asian nations. Some Asian
nations that support U.S. military presence in the region are likely to continue to do
so. Japan and Australia are strongly connected with U.S. defense strategies, as well
as, for example Singapore.
It appears that the new security concept, like many new
ideas introduced on the world stage, cannot be implemented equally to every nation.
It is likely that some countries will function very well under this concept while
others, due to differing conditions, will not.
Central Asian states seem likely to function well with the `New Security Concept',
particularly under the policy of the SCO. In the next chapter the SCO will be
explained in greater detail. Some would argue that perceptions of the `New Security
Strategy' have to some extent calmed leaders in neighboring countries. They do not
seem worried about the appearance of any conflict with China. It is also a valuable
David Denoon is a former deputy assistant Secretary of Defense and professor of Asian politics and
economics at the New York University.
Finkelstein, David M. China's "New Concept of Security." Globalsecurity.org. (2003).