China’s Military Diplomacy In An Era Of Change Essay

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China’s Military Diplomacy in an Era of Change By Kristen Gunness The CNA Corporation A paper prepared for the National Defense University symposium on China's Global Activism: Implications for U.S. Security Interests National Defense University Fort Lesley J. McNair June 20, 2006 Since the 1990’s, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has become a ubiquitous presence on the world stage, economically, diplomatically, and in its security relations. Whether in international institutions such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, in diplomatic circles as high-ranking Chinese officials traverse the globe, or in economic affairs, China’s footprint is no longer confined to the Asia Pacific region. For the first time in the history of the PRC, China has global economic interests complementing its global political interests and, potentially, a widening security agenda. The ideologically-driven international policies of the Mao era have been overtaken by economic and security-driven imperatives. Pragmatic considerations of energy supply, two-way investment and trade, technology transfer, international shipping, and major investment projects dominate Chinese overseas efforts.1 Political considerations are still important, but diplomacy is now much more in the service of an economic agenda than in the past. China is furthermore involved globally in an extensive variety of activities: scientific and technological conferences, military visits and exchanges, aid programs, peacekeeping operations, and bilateral and multilateral political activities. In so doing, it is entering into a web of international activities unprecedented in the history of the PRC, and one that, if it continues, will put China squarely in the camp of interdependent nations for whom conflict is a potentially dangerous disruption. Given this larger context, how does China’s military diplomacy

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