The pre-session conference of “China and Future of the International System” was held and attended by a number of the directors and officials of foreign ministry at IPIS center on Monday, January 31, 2022. At the session, Mr.Reza Zabib, Assistant of Foreign Minister and General Director of Department for Asia and Oceania, Gholamali Cheginizadeh, Professor at Allameh Tabataba'i University, Arash Raeisi Nejad, Faculty Member of the University of Tehran, and Hamed Vafaei, Faculty Member of Allameh Tabataba'i University made speeches about China’s status in the future of the international system and the consequences of China rise.
Here are the major topics raised:
The expression of China emergence is not a precise one, China reemergence to the international arena is a more precise concept. China reemergence to the international arena has been coincided with three major developments including: America’s decline, decline of the Liberal-Democracy paradigm, and change in the tools and nature of power (Technology Era). Generally, there are three predictions about how China will face the future international system: continuation of China integration in the international system and accepting international responsibilities; resistance and the principle of plurality in the international system and multilaterism as not blindly accepting others’ demands and simultaneously adapting to normative changes of the international system; China’s active presence in the shaping and regulating process of the future of the international system.
Generally, the four stages of China’s diplomacy and foreign policy toward the international system and organizations include: the error and trial period before the new China took shape; the post-revolution period and leaving international organizations as a tool of imperialism in the 1950s and 1960s; the period of joining and limited participation of China in the 1970s and 1980s; present period, China’s active participation and presence in the structures of the international system and interaction with them.
The main vocation that China has defined for itself has been focusing on domestic development, but what is unraveling since 2020 is that in cases China is ready to slow its economic development in favor of accelerating and boosting its influence in the international system.
According to China’s upstream documents, this country’s strategy for the future international system is not moving toward becoming hegemon and leader at world level, at least in the midterm.
China must be understood by a Chinese look, not western analysts’, and by shift of major powers in the international system and the resulting consequences.