December 2, 2023

“Navigating China’s Emergence: Shifting International Dynamics”

China’s ascent is reshaping international relations, demanding adaptability & diplomacy. Nations must strike a delicate balance between cooperation and competition in addressing shared challenges.

By: Samina Mustafa,

M.Phil. Scholar

China is widely considered to be an emerging global power, both economically and geopolitically. The term “emerging power” refers to a country that is experiencing rapid economic growth, industrialization, and increasing influence on the world stage.

China’s global strategy extends far beyond the Belt and Road Initiative, as revealed by a comprehensive investigation conducted by The Washington Post. The scope of China’s ambitions is unveiled through various avenues, demonstrating its commitment to establishing a new international order.

One key aspect involves the use of vocational training programs as a diplomatic tool. The expansion of Chinese-funded Luban workshops to 25 countries, initiated as part of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2016, showcases President Xi Jinping’s efforts to wield soft power. By training workers in partner nations, China not only deepens economic ties but also cultivates a network of individuals sympathetic to its interests.

Shibani Mahtani, a correspondent in Southeast Asia, looked into how China’s power goes beyond the economy to shape media narratives. Increasing influence inside ethnic Chinese communities is the main goal. Although this strengthens support for China’s geopolitical objectives, it also creates questions about divergent loyalties, particularly in Singapore, where the overwhelming population is ethnically Chinese and faces growing support for Beijing.


Michael Miller’s analysis of the consequences of China’s police deal with Fiji highlights how the Pacific area has become a geopolitical battleground for China’s security goals. This inquiry focuses on how conflicts with local authorities might arise from Beijing’s projection of police powers abroad, which in turn can cause opposition and skepticism among the communities Beijing is trying to influence.

In the realm of biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals, reporter Joby Warwick explores China’s initiatives in Serbia, revealing efforts to build a massive genetic information database. This aligns with China’s goal to become a biotechnology leader by 2035, with the unexpected boost from the pandemic allowing Chinese companies to expand their influence in scientific and medical domains globally.

Diplomatic maneuvers play a crucial role in China’s global strategy, demonstrated by Karen DeYoung’s report on China’s success in convincing the Honduran government to establish diplomatic relations, severing ties with Taiwan. This success in Central America raises concerns among U.S. officials about potential strategic implications.

The economic dimension of China’s influence is exemplified in Laos, where Mahtani investigates the impact of Chinese-financed infrastructure projects. Despite promises of prosperity, Laos is struggling with increasing indebtedness, testing the sustainability of China’s vision for its neighboring countries.

In the emerging industry of deep-sea mining, China’s dominance is underscored by Lily Kuo’s exploration of Kingston, Jamaica. China’s active role in influencing regulations and surveying the sea floor positions it to control the rare metals industry, crucial for both military and civilian applications in next-generation technology.

The global port network is a key element of China’s plan, according to Liz Sly and Júlia Ledur. China owns or manages the Maritime Silk Road, a military and economic initiative that links about 100 ports in 50 nations. Analysts speculate that China might utilize these ports as strategic assets to monitor US military activities, guard supply routes, and possibly intervene in conflicts involving US trade. In summary, China’s global influence stems from a multifaceted strategy that integrates military, political, technological, and economic dimensions. China has a great influence on the world through a variety of policies and tactics.

China’s ascent is reshaping international relations, demanding adaptability and diplomacy. Nations must strike a delicate balance between cooperation and competition in addressing shared challenges. Amid China’s multifaceted global strategy, the Pacific region is a focal point, with concerns arising from policing agreements. In areas like biotechnology and economic projects, China’s initiatives in Serbia, Central America, and Laos raise questions about sustainability. Additionally, China’s dominance in deep-sea mining and the Maritime Silk Road’s global port network underscore its economic and military influence, necessitating global discussions for a secure and inclusive future.