Jianwei Wang and Hoo Tiang Boon (Eds.), China’s Omnidirectional Peripheral Diplomacy

Date01 July 2021
Published date01 July 2021
Subject MatterBook Reviews
International Studies
58(3) 409 –416 2021
© 2021 Jawaharlal Nehru University
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/00208817211032795
Book reviews
Book reviews
Jianwei Wang and Hoo Tiang Boon (Eds.), China’s Omnidirectional
Peripheral Diplomacy (World Scientific, 2019), 414 pp. `13162, ISBN:
9789813141780 (Hardcover).
The evolving international strategic circumstances, inter alia, have driven China
to recalibrate its foreign policies, in which peripheral diplomacy has been one of
the major focal points of Chinese international engagement. Xi Jinping’s speech
at the Peripheral Diplomacy Work Conference in 2013 signified the increasing
priority and importance of the neighbourhood foreign policies in China’s overall
foreign policy agenda. From Chinese political leadership’s perspective, an
amicable and constructive relationship with the neighbouring countries is essential
for China to achieve the ‘two Centennials’ objectives’ and ‘the rejuvenation of the
Chinese nation’ (p. 5).1 A number of monographs have been published from a
Chinese perspective to articulate China’s peripheral diplomacy (e.g., see Jie,
2020; Qi, 2019; Yuanhua, 2019). In addition, some of the other literature on this
subject tends to conflate China’s peripheral diplomacy with China’s foreign policy
in general, rather than scrutinizing China’s relations with its neighbouring
countries exclusively (see Sutter, 2012). Moreover, China’s diplomatic interactions
with neighbouring countries are frequently analysed within a bilateral framework
(see Deshpande & Acharya, 2001). Given this, China’s Omnidirectional
Peripheral Diplomacy represents a timely input by a host of scholars, including
those from neighbouring regions, in scrutinizing the evolution of China’s relations
with its neighbours. It thus aims to provide holistic as well as in-depth analyses of
the changes and continuities of China’s neighbourhood foreign policies.
This edited volume is divided thematically into four sections. The first section
attempts to locate China’s periphery diplomacy in the broad regional setting,
which provides a foundation for discussing China’s engagement with some
specific neighbouring regions in the next three sections. Following Wang’s
elaborate and a near-panoramic picture of China’s evolving peripheral
circumstances that are increasingly complicated and contentious, Jin and Liu, in
two different chapters, scrutinize the impact of the conflictual China–US relations
on China’s ties with its neighbouring regions. The second section scrutinizes
China’s engagements with its neighbours located in Northeast and Southeast Asia,

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