What is the strategic meaning of China’s transformation from a country that exports the concepts of revolution to its neighboring countries to one that continues to deepen and develop good-neighborly partnership with its surrounding countries? Is the good-neighbor diplomacy a sugar coat that disguises China’s ambition of developing deep strategy so that the status of US’s superpower may be altered? Since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, China lives up to its guideline of consistent suppression and emphasizes on the safety of surrounding area and peaceful development. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has become a successful role model of China’s good-neighbor diplomacy. Why is ASEAN an index of China’s successful diplomacy? Under the restriction of territorial politics, is ASEAN China’s stumbling stone or a gangway for the rising China?
This study will not only investigate the connotation of China’s good-neighbor diplomacy but also China’s policies to ASEAN from aspects of politics, economics, military, culture and etc. First of all, China’ diplomatic goal toward ASEAN will be confirmed and further analysis of its political, economic, military and culture goals will be conducted on the interaction between China and ASEAN and its process. Finally, I will examine the restricted factors found in these four aspects on both sides.
The crisis management of Asian financial crisis proves that China is a pragmatic and opportunistic country. China seizes its opportunity to win the partnership of ASEAN and third world countries. The relationship between China and ASEAN has gradually grown closer which marks a role model for China’s pragmatically good-neighbor diplomacy and demonstrates its elasticity on diplomatic strategies.
China established a compatible bilateral relation by operating bilateral diplomacy. During 1990’s, China began good-neighbor diplomacy which successfully resolves its diplomatic crisis after Tiananmen Square Protests. In 1997, China’s diplomacy has altered from the bilateral and anti-alliance approach to good-neighbor diplomacy crumbled US’s leadership in Asia. China actively participates in ASEAN’s multilateral organizations for the purpose of establishing its international status and becoming the leader of regional organization. China has moved toward the new world of multi-scope by breaking down the world scope of US’s superpower with its flexible and pragmatic diplomatic strategies for becoming the super nation in east Asia.
Currently, ASEAN is China’s strategic dependent but may become China’s future competitor. ASEAN has taken most of the advantages under then tenant of China’s ASEAN Free Trade Area and shared China’s economic achievement. Hence, whether the alliance with ASEAN is beneficial to China remains a question that deserves long-term study and observation.
In the future, China and the US will continue to interact and yet remain rivals on their development in ASEAN, East Asia and the Asia Pacific region. The combat for resources in South China Sea will consistently affect the relations between China and the US. Hence, the competition between these two countries will depend on their strategies, application of tactics, and alternation between a tough or feeble stand. The relation between China and the US has deepimpact to the development of peace in the world and Taiwan Strait which is worthy of long-term attention and study.