China’s Rise Could Lead to a “More Just International Order”

In the nineteenth International Defense Course that analyzed the role of two major emerging powers – China and Brazil, Mario Esteban, professor of East Asian Studies at the Autonomous University of Madrid, said that from the perspective of the European Union, the emergence of China means “a loss of leadership in Europe” and “if we are impartial observers, then China’s rise could lead to a more just and more representative international order in many respects, which may seem paradoxical in an authoritarian country.”

But from the Europe’s point of view, he insisted, “it is undeniable that China and other emerging players will have an international voice which until now was reserved for industrialized countries.”

In his speech “China: Bear or dragon?” on Tuesday, Esteban has predicted key behaviors of China in the coming years, from the belief that “China is the most important of the emerging players, which we have to wonder its impact on the international order”.

On the possibility that this role could be the cause of any conflict, Mario Esteban stated “the only issue that is indispensable for China is Taiwan, for the rest, the Chinese government is very pragmatic and economic development is ahead of any nationalist claims or land claims, so while the conflict over Taiwan is calm, all is calm.”

For this professor, China is “one of the winners of globalization, and is reemerging in an international order that is based on the maintenance of peace and closer international economic relations” and has stated that “China is winning that game.”

In this scenario, which in his opinion does not make sense is “alarmist discourse that we are committed to a confrontation between the U.S. and China.” But yes, he concluded, stressing that the U.S. “is also one of the big losers of Asian leadership, and in ten or fifteen years the days of American unilateralism will go down in history as lot of decisions can not be made without China.”

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