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Alliance Forging or Partnership Building? China's Policy in the Asia-Pacific under the Xi Administration


Should China forge a military alliance? Some scholars believe it should, others believe it should adhere to a policy of non-alignment. For China many risks are associated with military alliances. On the one hand, China would likely be involved in unwanted conflicts and confrontations created by potential allies. On the other hand, China would be bound to compete with the existing hegemon, the United States, which has already established a huge alliance system, to win more allies. China just cannot afford this. The intensified strategic competition between China and the United States may also lead to a new antagonism in the Asia-Pacific region. Nevertheless, China’s ‘non-alliance’ policy does not mean China has to abandon the development of strategic cooperation with other countries or renounce the right to build a cooperative partnership network. Since Xi Jinping came to power, the Chinese government has continuously expanded its strategic partnership network in the region. This policy could avoid US-China competition over military allies and enhance strategic trust between China and its neighbouring countries, creating conditions for China’s peaceful development and global strategic stability.
Keywords: cooperative partnership network, strategic cooperation, alliance policy, Sino-US strategic competition