Reading China’s self-definition of international politics from intergovernmental conferences

Authors: Yu Huang*, Beijing Normal University, Ning An, Guangzhou University, Yuejing Ge, Beijing Normal University
Topics: Political Geography, China
Keywords: critical geopolitics; Chinese geopolitics; intergovernmental conferences; international relationships
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: 8226, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The inquiry of intergovernmental conferences is an important lens to investigate international geopolitical issues that seems to remain understudied in the existing literature. This paper aims for a reading of China’s relationships with the outside world from both its holding and participating in intergovernmental conferences from 2002 to 2016. Based on the textual analysis of conference materials from 802 intergovernmental conferences in which China has been involved, this paper highlights three lines with which China’s self-definition of its geopolitical positions in international politics can be understood. First, China’s delicate balance between the US and Russia consists of the most fundamental structure of Chinese international geopolitical views; second, China’s self-construction as a responsible regional power also makes up a large portion of the current Chinese geopolitical view; third, China’s self-geopolitical imagination of building a world of peace and harmony has found its largest buyers abroad. Such conference-based and self-defined geopolitics has furnished a special and, most importantly, Chinese-styled geopolitical view that can further the understanding of international politics. In this regard, this study contributes to the literature of critical geopolitics, as well as exploring Chinese geopolitics.

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