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Global Reordering and China's Rise: Adoption, Adaptation and Reform


While much of the debate over the implications of China’s rise tends to dichotomise around either status quo or revisionist predictions, the reality seems to lie somewhere in between. In broad terms, China has embraced multilateral forms of cooperation and governance. This does not mean, however, that it is satisfied with the distribution of power in many international institutions, or some of the norms and principles that underpin them. This has resulted in a reformist position, with China increasingly willing to offer its own supplementary alternatives. China’s rise has also provided an important economic alternative to dealing with the West, and considerably undermined the ability of others to establish their preferences and world views. China’s lack of commitment to democracy and the external promotion of human rights remains a key reason why some analysts remain unconvinced about the long-term ambitions of an illiberal actor in a global liberal order.
Keywords: China, global governance, norms, China model, rising powers, liberalism