Chinese Partnership Strategy: Practice and its Conceptualisation (19932018)

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-3-83-93

E. Grachikov (,
Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), 6, Miklukho-Maklaya Str., Moscow 117198, Russian Federation


The article deals with „partnership relations“ (huoban guanxi 伙伴关系), the main content of China's diplomacy from 1993 to 2018, which were established with 100 countries in five macro-regions of the world. The global "network of relations" created allows Beijing to use the "pivot states” (zhidian guojia 支点国家) to protect its core interests, and the "broker states” (jiedian guojia 结点国家) – to expand international cooperation resources. Recently, Chinese scientists have succeeded in composing a "matrix of partnerships” (in the form of tables presented in the article) with a strictly hierarchical structure of partner countries location in accordance with Chinese criteria for their significance. The author has aspired to present China’s logic of building diplomatic strategies in the fullest possible manner, as well as to disclose the content of the topic in the context of formation of Chinese diplomacy, with the extensive use of sources published in the PRC over the last decade. The methodological toolkit employed in the article is the process approach proposed by Qin Yaqing, inscribed in the theoretical pattern of process constructivism (guocheng jiangou zhuyi) and normative approach. This analytical format is used so far only in Chinese studies of world politics. The author concludes that global governance built on relations is China's foreign policy practice, which often acts as an alternative to the Western global governance based on rules. The twenty-five years of experience in partnerships built on relationship management allowed China to build a holistic global diplomatic network, which is distinguished by long-term tasks, flexible forms and inclusive value orientations, which is now considered as bringing Chinese world view into the modern system of international relations. As can be seen from the article, these value orientations of China, meanwhile, are not always perceived by other countries as sufficient and necessary to replace the existing universal values of the world system.


China's diplomacy, partnership, diplomatic strategies, process constructivism, pivot states, broker states


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For citation:
Grachikov E. Chinese Partnership Strategy: Practice and its Conceptualisation (19932018) . Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2019, vol. 63, No 3, pp. 83-93.

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