University of Sussex
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China's foreign policy towards Central Asia: expanding the concepts of national interest and national security

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posted on 2023-06-08, 20:08 authored by Zille Huma
The present study provides an analysis of China’s foreign policy towards Central Asia to trace ‘culture of China’s foreign policy’. The culture of China’s foreign policy approach deals with China as an identity and process rather than being static or within boundaries. The present research highlights China’s multilateral and cooperative policies in Central Asia and with Russia as an outcome of evolutionary process of construction of China’s identity. The complex process of building relations with Central Asian region although within a short period of time (in post-Soviet context) are analysed to make a case for China’s innovative (partially) political processes of dealing with frontier security and embracing multilateralism. This is explained by studying the evolution of China’s identity and interests and the role of significant events that affect its perceptions of self and that are a prescription for its policy orientations as observed in case of foreign policy towards Central Asia. The theoretical foundation of Peter Katzenstein thesis is helpful premises upon which an argument in favour of the discourse of identity and security is developed to see how culture of national security of China and ‘complementarity’ of Central Asian states is at work in security cooperation seen among these states. By problematizing the notion of ‘national interest’, the present study argues that interests of the states can be contextualized in a broader environment referred as civilization to trace the relationship between interests and identities of China as at play in Central Asian region. By placing the political state of ‘China’ in the broader context of civilization and as evolving, helps understand how Chinese political spectrum seeks to construct and maintain a great power identity while locating ‘self’ against ‘others’. It further argues that the cooperative and multilateral policies of China in form of Shanghai Cooperation Organization can be understood best by studying how the configurations of identity of China has guided the policy formation process; that constructs and reconstructs interstate normative structure in form of SCO.


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  • doctoral

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  • eng


University of Sussex

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