China’s Engagement with its Periphery

Date01 August 2017
Published date01 August 2017
Subject MatterReview Essay
China’s Engagement
with its Periphery
Bibek Chand1
D. Suba Chandran and Bhavna Singh (Eds). 2015. India, China and Sub-regional Connectivities
in South Asia. California, USA: SAGE Publishing. 231 pp. ISBN: 978-93-515-0327-9.
Jeffrey Reeves. 2016. Chinese Foreign Relations with Weak Peripheral States: Asymmetrical
Economic Power and Insecurity. New York, USA: Routledge. 241 pp. ISBN: 978-1-138-89150-0.
Carla P. Freeman (Ed.). 2015. China and North Korea: Strategic and Policy Perspectives from
a Changing China. New York, USA: Palgrave MacMillan. 261 pp. ISBN: 978-1-137-45565-9.
Steve Chan. 2016. China’s Troubled Waters: Maritime Disputes in Theoretical Perspective.
Cambridge University Press. 250 pp. ISBN: 978-11-071-3056-2.
While China’s rise in the international system provides new opportunities and
challenges for all states, the implications of its newfound stature are especially
immense for its many neighbours. The country shares geographically contiguous
borders with 14 other states, the most of any other country, including two larger
powers, namely, India and Russia. The rest of the 12 states are minor or middle
powers ensuring that most of China’s peripheral states share asymmetric relations
with it in terms of economic, demographic and geographic capacities. The argu-
ments of the four books that will be discussed throughout this review essay offer
different aspects of China’s engagements with its peripheral neighbours. Chandran
and Singh’s edited volume titled India, China, and Sub-regional Connectivities
in South Asia has two foci: the expanding economic activity in border areas
of India and China as well as the developing infrastructure for connectivity
between India and China. Thus, it focuses on economic integration in border
regions, including China’s peripheral states, as a means of greater integration with
India. Jeffrey Reeves offers a very different dimension to economic integration
between China and its peripheral neighbours. His analysis considers the asymmetry
in relation between China and its weaker neighbours, with focus on structural
violence. Reeves argues that China’s pursuit for security through economic goals
1 Doctoral Candidate, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA.
Corresponding author:
Bibek Chand, Doctoral Candidate, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA.
Journal of Asian Security
and International Affairs
4(2) 239–248
2017 SAGE Publications India
Private Limited
SAGE Publications
DOI: 10.1177/2347797017710750
Review Essay

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