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China and an Anarchic International System

10 Pages 2477 Words June 2017

tional engagement) and, contrast China via a comparative analysis with the current world superpower (United States) because arguably, for a comparative scale of rise in military and economic measures, the US is the upper limit. However, it will begin with the discussion on an anarchic international system, which as a concept in itself, many years post Westphalian sovereignty (1684), birth of the United Nations (1945), and introduction of the international criminal court (2002), is contested by the author.

Part 2 – Essay

Can China rise peacefully in an anarchic international system?

Analyzing the current international system, the body tasked to enforce and uphold the rules based law, the United Nations Security Council (acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter), still very much exists and, still has the ability and power to exert influence. The existence of this body implies that international relations are not in an ‘anarchic state’ (absence of world government). China and the US are and continue to be, members of the UN and as a perquisite of such, still abide (in most instances), by its founding principle which is to ‘prevent the scourge of war.' Examples of engagement in such organizations are abundant as recently as July 2016 with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)1. The fact that China and the US continue to engage with UNCLOS and contribute to the UNs overall upkeep (see figure 1), indicates their intent to engage and uphold international law and arguably, the international system is therefore not anarchic but is instead a multi-state hierarchical international system.

Figure 1 - United Nations COMMITTEE ON CONTRIBUTIONS - Regular budget and Working Capital Fund (2016)

From a liberal neo-internationalist viewpoint, the fact the Chinese government sought full UN status in 1971, China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, China plays an active role in internatio...

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