chapter  8
18 Pages

The revisionist alternative: energy and the Sino-Russian axis

If China’s ambition to integrate into the global international system is likely, as the previous chapter suggests, to be significantly constrained by conflicting approaches and continuing tensions with the West, to what extent will China seek to challenge and confront this order? According to classical realist thought, it is only natural that China as a rising power will seek ways to balance against the dominant global powers and that it will look for similarly disaffected allies to construct a countervailing anti-hegemonic alliance. Even if ‘hard balancing’, which involves establishing a full military alliance, is currently impractical due to the unchallengeable military superiority of the United States, a strategy of ‘soft balancing’ can still be pursued that implies diplomatic, political and military steps that seek to hinder and undermine, if not directly overturn, US global hegemony.1