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China's Strategic Opportunity
  • Yong Deng, United States Naval Academy, Maryland
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Book description

This book offers a systematic study of China's great-power diplomacy under President Xi Jinping. It critically applies the Chinese concept of 'strategic opportunity', which is defined by the national ambitions as set by the ruling communist party leadership, the opportunities and risks presented in the international environment, and the policy instruments at the nation's disposal. Applying the dynamic concept, the book identifies key Chinese beliefs that seek to best match its resources with its policy ends and investigates policy patterns in China's management of competition with the United States, the Belt and Road Initiative, economic statecraft, regional and global institutional orders, and its multipolar diplomacy. Taking seriously China's choice, Yong Deng challenges the mainstream structural analysis in International Relations that focuses merely on rising powers' insecurity and discontent in the international system. His study shows how the world's leading contender to, and major stakeholder in, the world order actually evaluates, and actively seeks to control, its international environment.


‘Professor Yong Deng presents a comprehensive, careful, and well-researched analysis of China's external policy over the past twenty years. He highlights the subtle but strategic shift in China's pursuit of ‘strategic opportunity,' from the pursuit of China's development within an accepted political economic framework to, under Xi Jinping, active involvement in reshaping regional and global configurations.'

Brantly Womack - Professor Emeritus of Politics, University of Virginia

‘Deng deftly engages with major theories of international relations and enriches their usefulness for understanding China's foreign policy in the twenty-first century. Analyzing the views of China's leaders, he carefully documents how their choices reflect an effort to draw on the country's growing capabilities to advance China's interests during what they see as a changing and challenging era of ‘strategic opportunity.' A major contribution on a topic of profound importance – China's choices and their implications for international peace and prosperity.'

Avery Goldstein - David M. Knott Professor of Global Politics and International Relations, University of Pennsylvania

‘In China's Strategic Opportunity, Yong Deng expertly traces the evolution of China's struggle for status since the rise of Xi Jinping. This book provides an indispensable resource for understanding how China's foreign policy has changed – and how it has not – in response to an increasingly uncertain international environment over the past decade.'

Steven Ward - Assistant Professor in International Relations, University of Cambridge

‘Insightful, nuanced, and sweeping in scope, China’s Strategic Opportunity will be a valuable resource for those seeking a deeper understanding of foreign policy in Xi Jinping’s China.’

Scott Kastner - Professor in the Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland, College Park

‘Building on his path-breaking work on status, Deng Yong explains how China views its strategic opportunity to move to ‘center stage’. Reviewing major developments in Xi Jinping’s foreign policy since 2012, Deng shows how China uses economic globalization to influence other states, attain global leadership, and overcome obstacles posed by the liberal world order.’

Deborah Welch Larson - Co-author of Quest for Status: Chinese and Russian Foreign Policy

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