People's Liberation Army
Modernization of the Chinese military includes the “three pillars”: development of new weapons systems and capabilities, improving professionalism and quality of Chinese military personnel, and the development of new war-fighting doctrines for using the new capabilities (Shambaugh and Yahuda 2014). The People’s Liberation Army is China’s largest land force and has become a useful policy tool “both in terms of its combat potential and its role in security cooperation” (Shambaugh and Yahuda). An increase in defense spending has also assisted the military’s growth in power and capability (Shambaugh and Yahuda). While the Chinese military has been experiencing growth, China’s economic growth, however, is just as extreme. Economic growth is the main source of China’s power among the Asian countries today. The economy’s growth has been roughly at eight percent overall, and there have been only a few years in the past decade where China’s economic growth was under ten percent, whereas only four percent is considered large growth (Stanton 2016). China itself accounts for fourteen percent of global economic activity during the year 2010 (Shambaugh and Yahuda). From 1993 to 2012, Chinese Gross Domestic Product grew at a clip of nine point two percent, making China’s GDP the highest within the region (Shambaugh and …show more content…
Foreign policy shifts depending on the economic and military value to the Chinese government. China is striving to obtain power and to become a great world power and a regional hegemon. The fact that China has grown so rapidly has enhanced the country’s foreign policy goals in some cases, but in other cases, China’s growth has threatened its goals.
Chinese foreign policy in Asia is largely shaped not only by China’s military power, but also by China’s economic power. Economic power is exceedingly important in diplomatic relationships:
Chinese officials regularly use free trade agreements, trade-facilitation agreements, and non-binding bilateral trade targets to leverage access to China’s market as a diplomatic tool in bilateral relations. (Shambaugh and Yahuda