China is not assertive in the sense it is commonly used. China is naturally a big nation, a global economy and a large military power owing to its size and geography. Many analysts do not realise these facts and start criticising China. Lately, in media, many analyses have appeared on the Chinese assertiveness as to see whether it is becoming an assertive power or not. The phrase “Rising Power” is often used to ascribe the increasing assertive power of China. This school of thought projects the Chinese assertiveness and cites the case of the South China Sea and the Chinese growing military activities there. Another school of thought talks about the Chinese soft power and argues about China’s peaceful rise as an economic power. Both the arguments exist parallel to each other.
The recent scholarly work of Richard Q. Turcsanyi titled What’s Really Behind Chinese Assertiveness in the South China Sea? is a stimulating study on the subject to see if the Chinese military power is on the rise along with its economic power. The author is associated with the Institute of International Relations, Prague, Czech Republic. Originally, the research was developed as a PhD thesis at the Department of International Relations and European Studies, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic. He makes interesting observations about the Chinese assertiveness to refute many commonly-held views about the rise of China and its assertiveness.