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China’s vision for international order is a matter of great global interest. This book analyses China’s efforts to realize this vision in its immediate neighborhood. Using a wide variety of sources, the book provides a historically informed account by examining the legacies of China’s imperial past and traditional political philosophy, discussing how those legacies have continued to inform the country’s foreign policy in the very different context of the modern society of sovereign nation-states. It argues that China today sees the maintenance of order as its own responsibility and that it believes this order needs to attribute different roles to ‘small’ and ‘big’ states to ensure stability. Furthermore, the book explores the different tools China employs to achieve its vision, including a proactive diplomacy, the control of international discourse, threat of punishment for ‘misbehavior’, and the promise of economic benefits in return for compliance.

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