chapter  2
Chinese thinking about world order
Pages 11

No issue in international relations is as important as trying to foresee China’s role and behavior in the global system – yet few questions are as diffi cult to assess with any precision or predictability. China remains an enigmatic and, to many, unpredictable actor. Its strategic intentions seem opaque and the relative lack of transparency in its foreign policy decision making and military systems adds to the confusion in the eyes of many around the world. To be sure, China’s global position is a work-in-progress and its multiple roles in the world – diplomatic, commercial, cultural, technological, strategic, and military – will all evolve and will react to, and be shaped by, other states and factors beyond China’s control.