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PacNet #23 – China’s Recent Approach to Asia: Seeking Long-Term Gains

The Chinese leadership has been developing a relatively pragmatic approach to China’s Asian neighbors for over 20 years. Beijing has worked to sustain regional stability and has sought greater economic advantage and political influence, without compromising core Chinese territorial, security, or other interests. Its efforts encountered difficulties, notably in the early 1990s, when China’s assertiveness regarding disputed territories along its eastern and southern flanks and its bellicose posture during the Taiwan Strait crisis of 1995-1996 alarmed its neighbors. Since then, Beijing has employed a new security concept and has used high-level diplomacy and other extensive political, economic, and military exchanges to build contacts and influence throughout its periphery.