China has been a major power for far longer than is typically acknowledged in the West. This paper seeks to redress established discourse of China as a ‘rising’ power which now enjoys common usage within Western policy-making, academic and popular circles, particularly within the United States; China can more accurately be conceived of as a ‘recovering power’. A tendency by successive Washington administrations to view the world in realist terms has forced the label of ‘rising’ power onto China along with the negative connotations that inevitably follow. We should acknowledge the folly in utilising a theoretical approach largely devoid of any appreciation for the social and human dimensions of international relations as well as the importance of social discourse in the field. Finally, policy-makers in Washington must reconsider their realist stance and, with a fuller appreciation of world history, recognise that American hegemony was always destined to be short-lived.
- US hegemony
- China's rise