The rise of China could be the most important political development of the twenty-first century. What will China look like in the future? What should it look like? And what will China's rise mean for the rest of world? This book, written by China's most influential foreign policy thinker, sets out a vision for the coming decades from China's point of view. In the West, Yan Xuetong is often regarded as a hawkish policy advisor and enemy of liberal internationalists. But a very different picture emerges from this book, as Yan examines the lessons of ancient Chinese political thought for the future of China and the development of a "Beijing consensus" in international relations. Yan, it becomes clear, is neither a communist who believes that economic might is the key to national power, nor a neoconservative who believes that China should rely on military might to get its way. Rather, Yan argues, political leadership is the key to national power, and morality is an essential part of political leadership.
Economic and military might are important components of national power, but they are secondary to political leaders who act in accordance with moral norms, and the same holds true in determining the hierarchy of the global order. Providing new insights into the thinking of one of China's leading foreign policy figures, this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in China's rise or in international relations.
Yan Xuetong is professor of political science and director of the Institute of International Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing. His many books include "The Rise of China and Its Strategy", "International Politics and China", and "American Hegemony and China's Security".
Acknowledgments vii A Note on the Translation ix Introduction by Daniel A. Bell 1 PART I: Ancient Chinese Thought, Modern Chinese Power Chapter 1: A Comparative Study of Pre-Qin Interstate Political Philosophy byYan Xuetong 21 Chapter 2: Xunzi's Interstate Political Philosophy and Its Message for Today by Yan Xuetong 70 Chapter 3: Hegemony in The Stratagems of the Warring States by Yan Xuetong and Huang Yuxing 107 PART II: Comments Chapter 4: An Examination of the Research Theory of Pre-Qin Interstate Political Philosophy byYang Qianru 147 Chapter 5: The Two Poles of Confucianism: A Comparison of the Interstate Political Philosophies of Mencius and Xunzi by Xu Jin 161 Chapter 6: Political Hegemony in Ancient China: A Review of "Hegemony in The Stratagems of the Warring States" by Wang Rihua 181 PART III: Response to the Commentators Chapter 7: Pre-Qin Philosophy and China's Rise Today by Yan Xuetong 199 Appendix 1: The Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods and the Pre-Qin Masters by Xu Jin 223 Appendix 2: Yan Xuetong: A Realist Scholar Clinging to Scientific Prediction by Lu Xin 229 Appendix 3: Why Is There No Chinese School of International Relations Theory? By Yan Xuetong 252 Notes 261 Select Bibliography 283 Contributors 291 Index 293