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China in Arc Crisis Essay


Asia has experienced various crises over the years ranging from civil and regional wars, terrorism, and financial crisis to poverty among many others. The Arc of Crisis in Asia began in the early 1970s during the period of cold wars and was characterized by armed conflicts, radical religious movements, terrorism among many other violent crimes and negative economic growth activities (Bhasin 3).

In 1971, the UN declared the region along Indian Ocean a zone of peace to so as to work towards achieving stability in the region (Bhasin 11). However, achieving sustainable stability has even been made trickier by the increasingly complex interrelationship among the countries in the South and Central Asian region in terms of their diverse economic, political, military as well as diplomatic policies.

Contrary to the crises experienced in this content, China has had a relatively stable economic growth which averages at over 9% per annum. Therefore China has a major role to play in helping the other Asian countries uplift their economic, social and political growth.

China’s Strategy

China understands that it can not achieve industrial and commercial growth as well as political stability if the country and the region are not protected. Therefore it has put more efforts towards proliferation of its military power by making it more modern and conventional. Its military spending has increased over the past decade particularly in military training as well as developing and purchasing of more modern weapons.

China seeks to achieve a regional security block in the region that would help fight crime and terrorism across the region. It has voiced its concern on the need to form a formidable military and security block in Asian Community regional corporations like the ASEAN Plus Three Regional Forum in which it is a member.

Today China is considering the possibility of forming a US-China military-to-military relationship in order to modernize its security and improve the security in the region. This is very vital for its economic and overall growth. Although it was reluctant to join the US in the war on terror which the US had launched in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2002, it later on joined and is now providing them with intelligence support (Zhu 28).

China is also actively involved in fighting money laundering activities as well as narcotic drugs. However, China has not been actively involved in providing military support in the Arc of Crisis region. It is perceived that China might use its military power to shape decisions and international institutions to favor its interests and even to nullify the strength of the US in the region ((Zhu 8).

China is more concerned with expanding its exports, job creation for its citizens as well as attracting foreign direct investment and therefore pays less attention to social and civil unrest but focuses more on economic reforms. In its rural programs, it embarked on direct consultations so as to legitimize its initiatives.

It has modernized its agricultural sector by reorganizing its rural small farms into plantations to ensure food security and employment for its citizens. Its objective is to empower its citizens economically and technically particularly the agricultural community.

China has also put much effort in diversifying its rural economy by expanding its infrastructure and by providing support to rural enterprises so as to curb the rural-urban migration (Garver 9).

China is also pursuing an economic regional cooperative block in the region as well as international cooperation with the international community like the US and the European countries. It relationship with the US today is more cooperative and not as it was in some years back when it viewed the US as more of a competitor.

Besides, China sought to revive its participation in the World Trade Organization in order to form a common position with like-minded Asian countries through the ASEAN Plus Three. India and China have become cooperative nations. This has made possible for an India-China-US relation which aims at achieving economic and security benefits among the three countries (Bhasin 23).

China is integrating its economy with the global economy at a fast rate and is predicted to become a major influential player at the international stage. China adopted its “reform and open-door policy” sometimes in the 1970s. This has enabled it expand its business opportunities both inside the country and outside the country. It has become a center for trade and investment as well as production for Asian countries.

It relies on the countries in the Asian region for trade and investment. It also relies on the region to support its reforms and economic developments. China has responded to the Arc of Crisis by expanding its social network and its domestic market. It has significantly improved its relationship with its Asian neighbors which has enabled it achieve free movement of goods in the region.

The large population in China and cheap labor attracts more labor-intensive manufactures to China. Besides, it implemented trade liberalization policies which allow firms from other countries to produce in China and export their goods back to their countries. Its liberalization policies also attract more foreign direct investments from other Asian countries as well as from the international community.

It has also become the centre of the triangular trade where it imports intermediate goods from the other Asian countries, produce them and export them to the US. However, China does very little to protect intellectual property rights for foreign companies as it forces them to reveal their technologies of production.

US’s involvement in the Arc Crisis

US interests in Central Asian and South Asia is perceived as strategic (Zhu 5). The US is keen to achieve its safety and security to its citizens and as such stability and development of the countries in these regions would greatly help it achieve its vision. The US has heavily invested in some of these Asian countries particularly Afghanistan so as to win the war against terrorism (Garver 48).

It is also perceived that the military presence in these countries is strategic in helping them access oil and also monitor military activities of China, North Korea, Iran, Russia and other Asian countries and military groups it considers as a challenge to its security (Zhu 7). US also seek to help these countries to achieve democracy as well as peace and stability in these countries and the region as a whole.

The US military investment in these Asian countries though help maintain security in the region, is viewed to help these Asian countries uphold independence and sovereignty by protecting them from Chinese and Russian aggression.

The US acknowledges that stability would enable these countries achieve reforms which would promote respect for human rights, democracy, transparency in governance as well as their other long-term interests.

While China’s policies seek to monopolize these Asian countries, the US policies seek to defend the independence and security of these countries as well as their integrity. This is in its line with its geostrategic interest of ensuring that no Eurasian country challenges its security.

US activities in Asia also focus on opening up these countries in order to access their markets as well as to create opportunities for their energy companies to exploit the energy sources in this region. In return, they seek to help these countries to gain access to the global markets.

Disparities exist in the involvement of China and the US in the Arc of Crisis. While the US provides significant military help in these countries, China’s military activities are very dormant in the region and only serve national interests. The US military provide military training and also offer security to these countries.

The US military help fight piracy and terrorism in these regions and even helped Afghanistan achieve a democratic state. The US security forces like the CIA also help in fighting narcotics trade as well as money laundering in these regions. China is more concerned with the economic cooperation and achieving monopolistic policies. China pays less attention to achieving democracy in these countries.

China’s Diplomacy

China’s diplomacy should be aiming at achieving respect, dignity as well as the restoration of the lost pride. This would make its counter relations very productive.

China should governance structure and policy which encourage democracy and defend the democratic values of the country in the larger China which include Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong and Beijing. China needs to encourage and protect more civil societies. This would give China the confidence to better negotiate diplomatic ties with other countries and to better help solve the problems experienced in the Arc of Crisis.

China should make attempts to engage in direct, bilateral negotiations with other Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea as well as the US. These negotiations should be comprehensive and unconditional. It should not be emotional when making negotiations with the international community, particularly the US.

It should adopt positive attitude when dealing with the US and as much as possible not focus on their past relationship. It has to implement policies which encourage positive partnerships with other countries. China should seek to attain diplomatically inclined partners that would help the country promote security and economic growth in the increasingly complex global system.

The country should realize that although it is an Asian country, it lacks the tools and diplomatic ties to effectively navigate and acquire more economic and political gains from other Asian countries as well as the US. It should therefore become more modest in the regional and the international stage as it pursues global recognition and influence.

China has to explain its legitimate security interest in the region to the world and in particular member countries in the region in order to achieve corporation, support and partnership from other regional member countries and the international community. It has to join hands with India, Japan, the US and other countries in this region particularly in maritime security cooperation as well as in joint resource development.

For China to achieve a comprehensive and sustainable security in the region, it should help combat the terrorism threats and sea piracy which has riddled the region in the recent past.

With the military technology and modernization that China has acquired over the past decade, it is better placed to support the training of military and provide military resources to these countries so as to help them fight terrorism, piracy and other illegal military activities which pose risks to peace and stability in the region.

China has rapidly increased its economic power and influence in Asia and the world in general. It should therefore use its influence to convince other countries in the region that their interests could be better served through cooperation and not through confrontations and competitions.

It has to encourage other member countries in its regional trading blocks to become productive and cooperative in the regional community blocks. It should demonstrate its economic leadership to other Asian countries and help develop better economic and regional policies for the community blocks it is involved.


The Arc of crisis is one that began decades back and has even become more complex with time. Terrorism activities, civil and regional unrests as well as the fight for economic and military power have increased. China which is an emerging economic and political power should play a greater role in helping the Asian countries in the Arc of Crisis overcome their problems.

It should play a greater role in fighting terrorism and military aggression as well as sea piracy and money laundering activities. It should increase its diplomatic ties with the US, Japan, India and other major Asian powers in helping the countries find a long-lasting solution to the Arc of Crisis.

Works Cited

Bhasin, Harsh. The emerging relationship between the United States, India, and China in the changing world order. New Jersey: Brunswick Publishers. 2009 print.

Garver, John. China and Iran: Ancient partners in a post-imperial world. Washington DC: Washington University Press, 2006. Print.

Zhu, Zhiqun. U.S.-China relations in the 21st century: power transition and peace. New York: Routledge, 2006. Print.

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"China in Arc Crisis." IvyPanda, 25 Dec. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/china-in-arc-crisis/.

1. IvyPanda. "China in Arc Crisis." December 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/china-in-arc-crisis/.


IvyPanda. "China in Arc Crisis." December 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/china-in-arc-crisis/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "China in Arc Crisis." December 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/china-in-arc-crisis/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'China in Arc Crisis'. 25 December.

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