China’s diplomats are more active on the global stage than ever before. Under President Xi Jinping, China’s foreign policy ambitions have grown and the government has expanded the scope of its activities, both in the region and globally. Beijing is in the process of adjusting foreign policy priorities and developing a new course in global affairs, departing from a long-standing policy of relative restraint. The research program “Foreign Relations” analyzes key aspects of China’s global trade, foreign and security policy. It pays particular attention to domestic developments that shape China’s foreign relations.
China’s rapid economic rise, its geoeconomic clout and evolving security posture raise fundamental questions: How can this new center of power continue to be integrated into an international system of rules and responsibilities? What are the risks of cooperation, and what new opportunities does China’s rise offer? How does the ongoing internationalization of China’s economy and society inform its foreign policy? What are direct and indirect impacts on Germany and Europe?
The weight of China’s growing economic, diplomatic and military capabilities will continue to deepen its global footprint with far-reaching consequences for the world order and our everyday lives. Yet there are fundamental challenges to China’s expanding role including strong forces of international competition and rising security tensions as well as frictions in China’s own domestic development path.
China is turning into a precarious global power. It faces an increasingly complex international security landscape while going through an extremely challenging period of domestic economic transformation. The success of Beijing’s foreign policy will also depend on if and how the PRC leadership can translate and export its own domestic policy approaches to the international realm.