China’s Quasi-Superpower Diplomacy: Prospects and Pitfalls

The year 2009 will go down in history as a watershed for the epochal expansion of China’s global influence. With its economy tipped to grow at 8 percent despite the world financial crisis, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is widely regarded as a prime locomotive for economic recovery worldwide. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is building nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, and the country’s first astronaut is expected to set foot on the moon before 2015. Taking advantage of the damage that the financial crisis has dealt the American laissez-faire system, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is also gunning for a novel international financial architecture, or one that is not dominated by the United States. This paper will look at China’s much-enhanced projection of hard and soft power, particularly ways in which Beijing is waging quasi-superpower diplomacy to bolster the country’s pre-eminence in the new world order. The diplomatic and geopolitical implications of China’s precipitous rise will be thoroughly appraised.