China’s growing global power. The ways in which China shapes international order and global politics on earth and recently in space

Project Report, 2021

11 Pages, Grade: 1,0





2.1 Concept ofthe People's Republic ofChina
2.2 China's Security Policy Horizon
2.3 Leadership role and independence in future-oriented high-technological areas
2.4Ambitions to be present in space

3.1 How China shapes international order and global politics
3.2 Xi Jinping's aspirations: new international system with Chinese characteristics
3.3 Global conseguences ofChina's Space Policy




In recent years, there have been increasing media reports that China is seeking to establish (more) global power by expanding its activities at high-technological level. This is evidenced particularly by the Republic's growing space operations.

Thus, this paper aims to elaborate the extent to which China shapes international order and global politics and whether China's space policy represents another operational tool to expand global power.


2.1 Concept of the People's Republic of China

The People's Republic of China is with over 1.3 billion people one of the most populous countries in the world and one of the largest countries by land area. Its capital is Beijing, and the official language is Mandarin Chinese (China, People's Republic of - Overview, 2021).

The political system of the People's Republic of China is shaped primarily by the Communist Party's claim to leadership, meaning that the People's Republic of China can be seen as an autocratic one-party system.

The claim of the Communist Party to leadership is not only anchored in the constitution but also forces other political organizations, media, civil society and religious activities to subordinate themselves to the goals of the Communist Party (Auswärtiges Amt, 2021).

These circumstances also explain China's ranking in the year 2020 at 172nd place out of 176 in the Democracy Index, which therefore classifies China as a hard autocracy (Ranking I DemocracyMatrix, 2020).

Since 2012, Xi Jinping is at the very top of China, which means that he is not only the president of the People's Republic of China, but also the general secretary of the Communist Party and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and thus sets the guidelines for the policy in the country (Brown, 2021).

2.2 China's Security Policy Horizon

China's economic successes, technological advances and numerous investments in military modernization in recent years have also changed China's security policy horizon, as China is now no longer just one of the regional powers, but also exerts global influence through its economic policy weight (Hieber, 2021).

At the regional and neighborhood level, the Chinese government thus pursues its interests very robustly. However, on supra-regional levels, China appears strong but still more cautious in terms of security policy. But this is increasingly changing (ibid.).

China's foreign and security policy fundamentals include the protection of national unity, territorial integrity, and an independent foreign policy in accordance with the "Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence", which above all presupposes "mutual non­interference". Therefore, the state leadership rejects any interference in China's internal affairs (ibid.).

It is also interesting that, according to official statements by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China promotes global peace and development and does not act expansively or aggressively. According to its own statements, China only protects its own sovereignty interests and national borders, which, however, is totally contrary to their increasingly pursuing ofconfrontational power policy (ibid.).

2.3 Leadership role and independence in future-oriented high-technological areas

In view of the population and wage development, the People's Republic cannot and does not want to permanently rely on cheap, export-oriented production of electronic and consumer goods at the lower end of the value chain. Instead, with the help of targeted industrial policy control, export successes are to be achieved with the country's own high-quality and capital-intensive "products". Therefore, high-speed trains, nuclear reactors, airplanes and (electric-)cars are being considered. This is to happen through massive state intervention (Huotari, 2021).

Moreover, China is not moving towards a market economy but is trying to achieve industrial and technological leadership in future industries through independent innovation and the attempt to control entire value chains ("Technology Nationalism") (ibid.).

In the digital economy and in industries such as those promoted by the "Made in China 2025"-strategy, the intention is to replace foreign technology with Chinese technology. To this end, China also wants to invest internationally to buy up critical technologies and knowledge from other countries. The People's Republic may thus become a difficult, sometimes unfair competitor for many industrialized countries (ibid.).

China and the USA largely debate between themselves about the development of technologies of the future and their application, while increasingly cutting themselves off from each other. China is trying to make itself much more independent by growing its own ecosystem of domestic technology. This could become a dilemma for European companies. Theirglobal value chains require inputs from both China and the U.S.

By the fact that the two biggest markets of the world lock out each other's technology, it is getting hard for companies that are doing business with both sides (Kaiser, 2021).

2.4 Ambitions to be present in space

The Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, in the year of 1957. This event started a "space race" between the Soviet Union and the United States. At that point China had no intention to compete in the battle for superiority in space. Mao Zedong (one of founders of the Chinese Communist Party) even said that "China cannot even put a potato in space." (Kharpal, 2021)

Although the United States is still in the leading position in all areas of space capabilities, president Xi Jinping stated that "Chinas 'Space Dream' is to overtake all nations and become the leading space power by 2045." (Kharpal, 2021)

According to Sa'id Mosteshar (director of the London Institute of Space Policy and Law), one of the ambitions behind Chinas willing to conquest space is, that it could drive technological development in areas such as socioeconomic development and national security. It can therefore provide China an advantage over other countries.

Additionally, space achievements can also help China to showcase its technical sophistication to the rest of the world and thereby increase its national and international


Excerpt out of 11 pages


China’s growing global power. The ways in which China shapes international order and global politics on earth and recently in space
Catalog Number
International Relations, China, Space Policy, Weltraumpolitik China, Weltmacht China, Global power, international order
Quote paper
Anonymous, 2021, China’s growing global power. The ways in which China shapes international order and global politics on earth and recently in space, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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