Is China a Revisionist Power: An Analysis



This paper argues that it is too early to conclude that China is a revisionist power despite clear evidence of increased “assertiveness” in recent Chinese behaviour. China is still grappling with a cohesive “grand strategy” that would address its fundamental insecurities, which have tested China’s policymakers throughout history, and deserve the attention of any international analyst trying to understand China. The muddled thinking of two of China’s leading international theorists, Wang Jisi and Yan Xuetong, on this subject is proof of this dilemma. If China can resolve these contradictions and accumulate enough power to upstage the United States (US) at some point in the future, it would be in a position to challenge the US-led global order. Since containment would probably be impractical at that stage, the US would have to strike a “grand bargain” with China.

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