This paper gives a critical look at China in terms of regional integration in the East Asia region. The main topic of this paper touches on China and regional integration in the East Asia and the challenges that must be overcome. This paper takes an analytical approach into the whole scenario of regionalism in East Asia and the role played by China. A summary discussion and conclusions are arrived at the end of the paper.
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The reasons for choosing to write on this interesting topic concerns the uniqueness of China. One of the reasons is that China has attracted many because of its must and swift movement towards development. This has been a good example in terms of unity for development and also due to the fact that China is a one language state and this brings out its uniqueness amongst the other world powers. The fast growing population of China and the rising of economic power are factors that were also considered before selecting China to be suitable for this study. As a leader in the East Asia China remains unique plus its significant role in the United Nations even when it comes to offering solutions to conflict resolution. These factors make China a perfect choice for the achievements of objectives of this paper.
The research question
What are the challenges that China must overcome?
China has made significant contribution towards regional integration in the East Asia.
There is conflict of interest between China and the United States with regional integration.
China can be mentioned as one of the influential powers that have been instrumental towards regional integration in the East Asia region. However in its efforts towards achieving regional integration goals China has challenges that have to be overcome so as to realize those goals. Regional integration in the East Asia differs from what occurred in Europe in a number of ways. First of all it is essential to note that the process took place at a slower rate than what happened in Europe. In Europe the United States had a significant influence economically. In East Asia China has been fundamental in political and economical influence. The American power has not had an enabling environment towards regionalism in East Asia. This can be attributed to the attitude of America towards China as an influential power towards regional integration in the East Asia. All in all in both the European and East Asia situation the presence of crisis has played a major pivotal role of catalysis in the process of regional integration.
The United States has been a major challenge for China with especially its role in the East Asia. It seems that there is some problem with the policies of China in the East Asia region because the US and the Soviet Union have ganged up against China. ( Aggarwal, Vinod and Koo, Min Gyo, 2005). The policy of China in East Asia has been associated with peaceful development With the presence of the two major rivals US and Japan. Infact China has led to even greater feelings of Japanese nationalism. Though China has experienced problems that are military related with the United States and Japan it has always advocated for diplomacy as a way of finding amicable solutions to the regional conflicts that threaten regional integration in the East Asia. Chinas policy call for peaceful co-existence between the main powers for the mutual benefit of all. Chinas foreign policy advocated for non-military approaches towards conflict resolution. (Nicholas 7, 2002)
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China has a security challenge in East Asia region. This challenge emanates from the fact that China is a net importer of oil in the region and this makes it more vulnerable to external power as growing pressure mounts. But despite the security challenge, China with the new security concept has called for a shift from the one sided security to a common security which should benefit all countries. And lead to a peaceful Asia. As far as ASEAN is concerned China is on record for appealing for all the countries in the bracket to engage in free trade between them. In terms of its role in the ASEAN, China has made a contribution is terms of diplomatic relations between the member states. Besides the diplomatic relations China has pushed for formation of closer ties between the member states. This has been evident particularly in the area of science and technology. Security and political roles have also been well undertaken by China in the ASEAN. In fact China is recognized by ASEAN as a full dialogue partner. Apart from being an advocate of free trade area China has been on the front line in tariff reductions and even supporting the less developed countries in the ASEAN ( Zhang Yunlin, 2001).
China has been noted to apply the new security concept in the East Asia integration. This has been indicated by calls for a multilateral world with the objective of diluting the unilateralism of the United States. This new security has become phenomenon to Chinese diplomacy that has seen regional integration in the East Asia.
China through its participation in the activities of ASEAN has contributed towards protecting countries against economic shocks as the wave of globalization moves out.
In conclusion of this analysis it is vital to mention that Chinas has structural limitations in its foreign policy and win-win situation. This is because China has been observed to be addressing only the short term problems while in the bigger picture postponing the long term issues. This has been particularly evident in the United States strongholds. Private sector investment for China overseas is also a challenge that needs to be critically looked into by the policymakers of this country (Meng Yan, 2002).
This paper has utilized an analytical method in the process of testing the hypothesis of the study. Various sources of information have been analyzed for instance there are important journals which have been listed in the Bibliography section. The merit of this method is that it was easy to obtain the sources. However it was a challenge to get the latest sources of information for this study using this methodology
Discussion and conclusion
For China to move smoothly towards achievement of her development goals I think it is necessary that good relations be established with the United States to avoid a collision in the course of the two powers pursuing their ambitions and interests.
There is need fro readjustments in the role of ASEAN so as to enable the organization to create a better platform that can overseas regional integration. Strong forms of commitment should be put in place in the East Asia so as to not only foster peace but enable member countries to come of the cocoons of self-interests and head towards the common good of the region. It is a high time that China through ASEAN should advocate for the doing away with tenets such as sovereignty and non-interference which have been obstacles towards integration. This will be very significant in assuring the association survival meaning that the road towards regional integration would now be clear.
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