97 Foreign Aff. 71 (2018)
Life in China's Asia: What Regional Hegemony Would Look like

handle is hein.journals/fora97 and id is 289 raw text is: 




Life in China's Asia


What Regional Hegemony Would Look Like

Jennifer Lind

or now, the United States remains the dominant power in East

       Asia, but China is quickly closing the gap. Although an economic
       crisis or domestic political turmoil could derail Chinas rise, if
 current trends continue, China will before long supplant the United
 States as the region's economic, military, and political hegemon.
   As that day approaches, U.S. allies and partners in the region, such
 as Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea, will start to face
 some difficult questions. Namely, should they step up their individual
 defense efforts and increase their cooperation with other countries in
 the region, or can they safely decide to accept Chinese dominance,
 looking to Beijing as they have looked to Washington for the past
 half century?
   It may be tempting to believe that China will be a relatively benign
 regional hegemon. Economic interdependence, one argument goes,
 should restrain Chinese aggression: because the legitimacy of the
 Chinese Communist Party (ccp) rests on economic growth, which
 depends on trade, Beijing would maintain peaceful relations with
 its neighbors. Moreover, China claims to be a different sort of great
 power. Chinese officials and scholars regularly decry interventionism
 and reject the notion of spheres of influence as a Cold War relic.
 Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that his country has never
 engaged in colonialism or aggression thanks to its peace-loving
 cultural tradition. In this view, life in China's Asia would not be so
 different from what it is today.
   But this is not how regional hegemons behave. Great powers
 typically dominate their regions in their quest for security. They
 develop and wield tremendous economic power. They build massive
 JENNIFER LIND is Associate Professor of Government at Dartmouth College. Follow her
 on Twitter @profLind.


March/April 2018  71

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