2001 | IV | 9-27
Article title

Chiny na arenie międzynarodowej

Title variants
China from an international perspective
Languages of publication
The authors analyze China’s changing role in the international relations. They indicate that China was not only the state but also the cradle and a center of a civilization which contributed a lot to the human civilization. They also point out the complexity of the term „China” from a political perspective: the presence of the state of People’s Republic of China, the two particular post-colonial enclaves (Hong Kong and Macau), Taiwan and of the Chinese communities abroad and the states they created, i.e, Singapore. They present the term „Greater China” in its various meanings. Another great problem briefly outlined here relates to the modernization of this country. The authors indicate an enormous scale of this process in such a giant country and its historical difficulties. In this context they present the results of the reforms in the last 25 years. They conclude that the aim indicated by Deng Xiaoping - to quadruple China’s GNP - has been achieved. The authors indicate other economic and social achievements, as well as various problems and challenges connected with such a rapid economic development. In their opinion, China’s political system and its changes essentially correspond to the so-called „Asian values”. The Chinese leaders openly rejected the Western model of democracy and have chosen the authoritarian models of the „Asian tigers” that already demonstrated their efficiency in granting economic development and modernization. The authors remain as an open question the possibility of successful application of these models to China. It is not certain that the combination of free market economy with an authoritarian political system so efficient in the case of Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan, will bring a similar success to the mainland China. The authors indicate that Professor Zbigniew Brzezinski was probably right to consider China as a raising regional power. This process is in the course and the unification of the country constitutes its precondition. The unification of the two enclaves, Hong Kong and Macau, was already achieved. Much more complex is the problem of Taiwan (presented in detail). It deserves attention that the proposed „unified China” will maintain to some degree its traditional political pluralism. According to the authors, China is on her way to the status of a global power and the world must adjust itself to this new situation. However, it is closely related to the unification with Taiwan. A real social and economic integration with this island is progressing, but its younger generations could be less convinced that a political unification is necessary. Its prospects depend on the success of the modernization process on the continent, but nobody could predict its results, considering various difficulties. On the other hand, the unification of China depends on Washington and Tokyo as well, and the „Taiwan card” is an important American asset that provides some control over the developments in the region. The Chinese communities abroad could also facilitate the unification and modernization processes. Thus nobody could predict when China could become a true regional power fully autonomous in her relations with other powers and whether arid when she will be a global power, although her influence on the world affairs can be noticed even today.
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