Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Growing pains

Deng Xiaoping when he was in power instructed his successors to focus on development and not take a lead in global affairs. This was sound advice at the time, as China was not nearly as developed as it is now. Deng was no doubt influenced by the foreign policy carried out by Mao during the 1960s, where Mao was making a grab for leading the global socialist movement and not making many friends because of it.

Since Deng's passing in 1997, the PRC leadership has followed Deng's advice amazingly well, hardly straying from it. However, it has led to the growing disenfranchisement within the international community, particularly in Europe and the United States. The problem is that those two powers want the PRC to play a larger role in international affairs, as seen at Copenhagen, Iran, and North Korea. However, with the exception of North Korea, the PRC has shown little interest in doing anything that would go against Deng's sage advice.

The CCP is still narrowly focused on developing China, which is not totally unreasonable. However, the PRC's rise will be greeted with continued less enthusiasm the longer it takes the CCP to develop a foreign policy that is conducive to both development and active foreign diplomacy. Will it be difficult? Absolutely, we're seeing it right now. Can the CCP pull it off? No doubt about it. It'll just take some time.

No comments:

Post a Comment