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CA 51 – China and Global Crises: The "Culture of Reluctance" – Oct 2014


Western hopes that China will take greater responsibility for dealing with international crises are likely to be dashed, according to the latest issue of China Analysis published by the European Council on Foreign Relations and the Asia Centre. The paper concludes that China’s “Culture of Reluctance” – a term borrowed from German foreign policy – will continue to prevent it from becoming a “responsible stakeholder”. It will contribute to solving international problems only when its core national interests are directly threatened and it is unable to be a “free rider”.

This policy paper examines Chinese attitudes towards Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali, Pakistan and Ukraine, outlining China’s deep suspicion of other powers’ ulterior motives for involvement. It shows how Chinese analysts see the United States plotting to draw it into the vortex of Iraq and the Middle East. It concludes that China is highly selective about where it gets involved. Its global engagement is motivated by a desire to protect its own interests and improve its international image.




China and Afghanistan after 2014 (Jade Wu)

The US vs. China: Ideological conflict in Iraq (Marc Julienne)

China, France, and Germany: Models of engagement in Mali (Angela Stanzel and Abigaël Vasselier)

China and Pakistan: Crisis partner or a partner in crisis? (Angela Stanzel)

How China sees the crisis in Ukraine (Abigaël Vasselier)