What to Make of Xi Jinping’s Vision for Asian Security?

In May 2014, presidents Obama and Xi both gave important national security addresses. At West Point, Obama presented a broad vision for the future of US global leadership, where he stated that the United States, “from Europe to Asia,” remains the “hub of alliances unrivaled in the history of nations.”1 In Shanghai, speaking at a summit of the Conference on Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Xi outlined his thoughts on the future of security in Asia. In Xi’s vision, stronger military alliances would be opposed, new security mechanisms would be established, and China would play a more proactive role.2 What should we make of it and its implications for the United States? This article argues that Xi’s address is less significant as a new security concept than as strategic rhetoric, where it fits into an effort to reinvigorate China’s regional diplomacy.

Xi’s address drew significant attention from both Chinese and foreign media. Xinhua hailed the speech as “timely, pertinent, and significant,” while one noted PRC security analyst praised it as the “most profound exposition on Asian security issues by a Chinese state leader” to date.3 Foreign media were more wary, suggesting that Xi had sent a warning to US allies in the region.4 One US analyst argued that Xi’s remarks underscored Beijing’s conviction that the “US-led security architecture is outliving the usefulness it once provided.”5 Below I ask whether Xi’s speech offered a credible blueprint for a new security order—one that might challenge the US system of alliances that has anchored regional security for the past 70 years. I also ask what other significance his speech carried.

The answers are important given concerns that, as China’s power grows, Beijing will press for a new security framework in which the United States is excluded and US-championed values are undermined.6 This is particularly salient as the Obama administration advocates a strategic rebalancing to Asia that assumes a continued, major role for US alliances in the region. In light of these concerns, Xi’s remarks at CICA offer a useful bellwether for assessing whether China has presented a viable alternative, and what that might look like. There are several reasons for arguing that Xi’s vision should not be seen as a credible blueprint for Asia’s security going forward. He glided over key security challenges facing the region, such as territorial disputes involving China. Some of his comments, such as opposition to stronger alliances in Asia, simply restated longstanding PRC government views. Other remarks seemed to contradict Xi’s own calls for enhanced China-US security cooperation. In addition, his promotion of CICA as a pillar of the future regional security architecture is problematic given the body’s institutional weaknesses.

Nevertheless, Xi’s comments served a purpose for China as strategic rhetoric. In particular, PRC officials have identified gatherings such as CICA as key platforms from which to broadcast a reassuring message for a regional audience, likely aimed at assuaging concerns about China’s military buildup and assertive actions in territorial disputes. In this regard, Xi’s CICA address fits into an attempt by Beijing to re-energize its regional diplomacy over the past year. This development—while not indicative of a rival security order in the making—could, in its own right, pose challenges to the United States and its rebalance to Asia.

This article is divided into five brief sections. The first summarizes Xi’s vision for Asian security as presented at CICA. The second explains the weaknesses of his address as a credible security concept. The third argues that Xi’s address was likely intended as strategic rhetoric, while the fourth links the speech to China’s renewed emphasis on regional diplomacy. The last section considers the implications for the United States.

Contours of Xi’s Vision

The simple premise of Xi’s argument was that Asia is faced with growing security challenges. Xi focused in particular on various non-traditional security issues, such as terrorism, transnational crime, energy scarcity, and natural disasters. He also referenced the existence of “sensitive and flashpoint” issues, alluding to sovereignty disputes in the East and South China Seas and elsewhere, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Overall, Xi described the security situation in Asia as “extremely complicated.”7 According to Xi, many of these challenges have been left unattended due to the prevalence of “Cold War thinking” and “zero sum games” in the region. He also cited stronger military alliances as a cause for concern. In his words, “To beef up a military alliance targeting a third party is not conducive to maintaining common security.”8 Implicit in these remarks was a critique of the United States and its rebalance to Asia, which has focused on strengthening alliances. Some authoritative PRC media coverage of Xi’s address took a more explicit aim at Washington. For example, China Daily quoted a PRC security expert who asserted that, “it’s time to tell the US it is not justified in interfering in Asia’s affairs.”9

As an antidote, Xi argued that management of regional security affairs should be returned to “the people in Asia,” a turn of phrase vaguely reminiscent of imperial Japan’s “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.”10 In this regard, Xi identified two groups, in particular, that would play more decisive roles. First was CICA. This is a regional security organization founded in 1992, which has focused on developing confidence-building measures and facilitating dialogue. It has held summit meetings every four years since 2002. Its 26 member states span the Eurasian continent and beyond, including Pakistan, Thailand, Iran, Jordan, and Egypt. Others, such as Japan, the Philippines, and the United States, hold observer status. Despite its disparate roster, Xinhua has hailed the organization as “Asia’s biggest multilateral security forum,” which “emits the voice of Asia.”11 In Xi’s vision, CICA’s status would be upgraded, with more frequent foreign ministers’ meetings and summits, a more robust and effective secretariat, and greater involvement in promoting confidence building measures among states in counter-terrorism and other arenas. These reforms, Xi suggested, would “create new prospects for security cooperation in Asia.”12

Second was China itself. According to Xi, China would work to spearhead new regional security practices and mechanisms, including a “code of conduct for regional security” and an “Asian security partnership program.” Other initiatives would include an “Asian security emergency response center” and stronger law enforcement cooperation across the region.13 In addition, China’s regional leadership would extend into the economic sphere. For instance, Xi argued that China would accelerate the building of an “economic belt” along the original Silk Road (through Central Asia) as well as a “maritime silk road” (through the South China Sea and across the Indian Ocean), and an Asian infrastructure development bank. In short, development and security would “reinforce each other.”14

In Xi’s vision, the normative glue holding this new security order together would consist largely of a set of Westphalian and egalitarian principles. These would include mutual respect for sovereignty and non-interference in states’ internal affairs, mutual regard for states’ different social and economic models, and a preference for resolving disputes through peaceful means. Other norms, such as democracy, civil and political rights, and respect for freedom of navigation, were not mentioned.15

A Vision for the Future?

At face value, Xi’s vision poses a challenge to continued US leadership in Asia: there would be no tolerance for the strengthening of US military alliances, which has been a hallmark of the US rebalance to Asia; CICA, in which the United States holds only observer status, would play a more prominent role; and the promotion of liberal democracy and human rights would, presumably, be overshadowed by other values. All this is potentially worrisome for the United States, its allies and partners. However, there are at least five reasons why Xi’s remarks should not be understood as a credible blueprint for the future of Asian security.

First, while Xi focused on enhancing regional cooperation in a number of “positive sum” (win-win) domains, such as counter-terrorism, emergency response, and regional economic integration, his vision glided over a number of harder-to-resolve, “zero sum” security problems facing the region. Most notably, he made no direct mention of the territorial disputes that have gained much attention in recent months, including those in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. No concrete solutions to these problems, or ways to manage them, were provided. PRC media commentary on Xi’s address was similarly vague. For instance, China Daily noted that Xi’s remarks came amid escalating tensions in the East and South China Sea, but provided no roadmap as to how those tensions would be reduced.16

Second, much of Xi’s vision traded on longstanding PRC government positions, rather than providing an innovative concept for new security architecture. For instance, Xi focused heavily on the “Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence,” which include mutual respect for sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, non-interference, equality, and peaceful coexistence. This formulation has been an integral part of China’s diplomatic lexicon since the Bandung Conference in 1954, a time when China was seeking to reach out to non-communist countries in Asia, such as India and Burma.17 Some of Xi’s remarks at CICA also referred to China’s previous “new security concept” that was promulgated in the late 1990s.18 Notably, the PRC argument that stronger military alliances undermine regional security can trace its roots back to the 1998 defense white paper. That document argued, “The enlargement of military blocs and the strengthening of military alliances have added factors of instability to international security.”19 Subsequent defense white papers, released on a biannual basis, have made similar remarks.20

Third, Xi did not explain how Asian security affairs could be returned to the “people in Asia” at a time when Beijing is seeking to forge deeper cooperation with Washington on key security issues facing the greater Asian region, such as the DPRK and Iranian nuclear programs.21 His rhetoric at CICA also seemed to oppose his statements at the Strategic & Economic Dialogue less than two months later, when he called a potential China-US confrontation a “disaster” and stated that the “vast Pacific has ample space to accommodate our two great nations.”22 In general, Xi’s Asia-first emphasis was hard to reconcile with his call for building a new-type great power relationship with the United States.

Fourth, there are several problems inherent in Xi’s call for CICA to play a role as a fulcrum for regional security cooperation. These include likely divergences on key security issues across the organization’s diverse membership, which ranges from South Korea and Israel to Vietnam and Iraq; a reliance on consensus to reach decisions and the absence of enforcement powers; the lack of membership in the organization by pivotal regional states, such as Japan, the Philippines, and Australia; and the presence of only a limited secretariat (based in Almaty, Kazakhstan).23 The organization also has only a modest track record in developing confidence-building measures.24

Fifth, it is not clear how strongly committed China itself is to some of the principles espoused in Xi’s remarks. For instance, though Xi touted respect for sovereignty as a centerpiece to the regional order, China’s own understanding of the sovereignty norm has become more nuanced over the past three decades.25 China’s flexibility on this concept was on full display when Beijing approved sanctions on, and acquiesced to the NATO air campaign against, Libya in 2011. China’s strengthening military ties with Russia also seem at least somewhat incompatible with Xi’s stated opposition to stronger military alliances in the region.26

Assuaging Concerns, Reassuring Neighbors

What, then, was the impetus behind Xi’s presentation? What can explain both the content of his remarks and his choice of venue? The answer lies in China’s continuing desire to assuage concerns by its neighbors over its growing economic and military power. This has been a longstanding goal, but has perhaps taken on greater urgency as China flexes its muscles in territorial disputes along its maritime periphery. According to Foreign Minister Wang Yi, there is a need to persuade other states in the region that “our development is peaceful and friendly, not expansionist.”27 Similarly, Xi himself has said that, in its message to the world, China should be “marked as a responsible country that advocates peaceful and common development.”28

In this context, PRC sources describe gatherings such as CICA as useful messaging venues. Speaking in late 2013, Wang stated that a goal for diplomacy in the coming year would be to use “platforms and expositions to be held in China” to “vividly explain that the Chinese dream is beneficial to the world…in order to nurture and enhance China’s soft power.”29 Although Wang did not specifically mention CICA as such as forum, the fact that it was a summit-level gathering held in China would seem to have afforded such an opportunity. One noted PRC security expert was more explicit, arguing that China should “use CICA to help nations that doubt and misunderstand China’s rapid development to correctly regard China’s peaceful development.”30

It is unsurprising that a focus of Xi’s presentation was portraying China as a peaceful, constructive actor in Asia. Specifically, he claimed that China is “always a staunch force for upholding peace in the region and the world at large,” and illustrated this contention with a number of examples, including China’s role in advancing the Six-Party Talks, resolving 12 of 14 land boundary issues, supporting reconstruction in Afghanistan, and working to address the Asian financial crisis.31 Several attributes of Xi’s remarks appeared to be calibrated to appeal to the values and concerns of specific groups within CICA’s membership. Three such groups stand out. First are the majority of CICA members (15 of 26) that are also members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which trumpets respect for sovereignty and the avoidance of great power conflicts.32 Xi’s emphasis on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and his rejection of “Cold War thinking” and “zero sum games” can be seen as a nod to the NAM heads of state in attendance.

Second are SCO members, all six of whom hold membership in CICA.33 The SCO is a regional security organization that has built cooperation in combating terrorism, primarily in Central Asia. Xi may have stressed the challenges of the “three forces” (terrorism, separatism, and extremism) and the need to improve cooperation in counter-terrorism in order to reaffirm PRC leadership in the SCO and underscore China’s commitments to these states.

Third are CICA members that are allies or partners of the United States, such as South Korea, Israel, Turkey, Bahrain, and Vietnam. While some US media reports depicted Xi’s comments on alliances as a warning to these and other states (such as Japan and the Philippines), he did not harangue them with rhetoric—rather, his comments on the topic were brief, indirect, and consistent with PRC talking points going back to 1998.34 Xi may have paid lip service to their sensitivities. In sum, Xi’s remarks may have had more value as strategic rhetoric, designed to assuage concerns and develop diplomatic goodwill, than as a credible blueprint for a new security order.

China’s New Peripheral Diplomacy

As strategic rhetoric, Xi’s remarks at CICA fit into a larger effort by China to reinvigorate its regional diplomacy over the past year. Xi summarized this aspiration at a CCP Central Committee diplomatic work conference held in October 2013, arguing that “great changes” were afoot in Asia that required China to upgrade its political and economic relations with neighboring states.35 Wang Yi has stated that China’s new regional diplomacy would consist of a five-to-ten year effort to “strengthen pragmatic cooperation” with states across the region.36 This is not the first time that China has undertaken a policy of “peripheral diplomacy” (zhoubian waijiao). As Evan Medeiros has noted, it pursued a similar policy in the early 2000s in an attempt to assuage concerns about its rapid military development.37 It also carried out a “charm offensive” directed at Southeast Asia in the 2000s, and has worked to improve its image further afield, in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.38 Most of these efforts have met only limited success.39

Explaining why a new policy of peripheral diplomacy is needed at this point in time, Chinese security experts have highlighted three major types of challenges. First is the US rebalance to Asia, which has included stronger military alliances and expanded force presence in some locations, especially Southeast Asia. According to one PRC scholar, the rebalance is placing pressure on China by “breaking” the current political and economic framework around China’s periphery.40 Second is the persistence of various regional hotspot issues near China’s borders, such as the DPRK nuclear issue and territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas.41 Third are continuing transnational challenges, many of which pose security challenges for Beijing. These include terrorism, WMD proliferation, transnational crime, public health and safety issues, and water scarcity in the region. Each of these challenges requires that China take steps to firm up its influence around its periphery.

PRC officials have discussed several foci for the new peripheral diplomacy. First are economic initiatives, including plans to build a revived Silk Road through Central Asia and a new “maritime silk road” through the Indian Ocean. Both of these initiatives would reduce barriers to trade and investment while strengthening China’s participation in the regional economy, taking advantage of what PRC Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng has labeled as peripheral states’ “strong desire for economic and trade cooperation with China.” 42 According to a commentary piece in People’s Daily, strengthening these trade routes would increase the “harmonization” of interests in the bilateral relations between China and the affected countries.43 The locations of these two routes, according to Xinhua, are depicted below.

Figure 1: The New Silk Road & Maritime Silk Road

Figure 1: The New Silk Road & Maritime Silk RoadSource: Xinhua (http://www.xinhuanet.com/world/newsilkway/index.htm)

Other major economic initiatives that China has promoted in the past year include an Asian infrastructure development bank, new China-ROK and China-Australia free trade zones, an upgraded China-ASEAN FTA, a Bangladesh-China-India-Pakistan “economic corridor,” and a China-Mongolia railway.44 In short, there are few geographic areas where China does not foresee boosting its economic footprint

Second are leadership visits. Wang Yi noted that China held summit-level meetings with 21 neighboring states in 2013.45 This included Xi Jinping’s much-touted visit to Central Asia in September, during which strategic partnerships were established with Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.46 More recently, Xi’s visit to Pakistan in February 2014 included a reference by Xi to the principles of “closeness, sincerity, mutual benefits, and inclusiveness” with bordering states that he articulated at the diplomatic work conference in October.47 Positive atmospherics also surrounded Xi’s visit to Seoul in July 2014, in which PRC media declared that his “personal charm” had won over new admirers in the ROK.48 One senior PRC scholar portrayed such visits as part of a trend of “all-directional upgrades” in relations with states around China’s borders.49

Third are cultural activities. These include increasing people-to-people exchanges, opportunities for foreign nationals to study in China, and cultural programs hosted by Confucius Institutes around the region. Xi himself explained the importance of strengthening China’s cultural influence at a Politburo study session on soft power held in January 2014, where he called on China to build its “national image,” including “disseminating modern Chinese values and showing the charm of Chinese culture to the world.” Xi continued: “The stories of China should be well told, voices of China well spread, and characteristics of China well explained.”50

Fourth is the use of multilateral venues to broadcast China’s message to the region. Wang Yi has touted the importance of “major venue diplomacy,” wherein China would make use of events such as the APEC Summit, the Boao Forum, and the Asia Mutual Trust Summit to articulate its values and goals.51 As suggested above, Xi’s CICA address fits into this category by headlining the event and developing an attractive message for a regional audience. A similar example was PLA Deputy Chief of the General Staff Wang Guanzhong’s remarks at the 2014 Shangri-La Dialogue. Echoing Xi’s message of reassurance, Wang stated: “China has always been a constructive force, positive force, and a positive energy for peace and security in Asia.”52

To be sure, there are two good reasons to doubt the ultimate success of China’s new peripheral diplomacy. First, as Joseph Nye has argued, China’s internal political problems have complicated its previous efforts to amass soft power, and this may continue to be a problem as China faces significant ecological, social, political, and other issues at home that may reduce its national attractiveness.53 Second, its assertive actions in its territorial disputes, especially in those with Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam, may similarly hinder Beijing’s attempts to persuade its neighbors of its benign intentions.54 These actions have included the establishment of an Air Defense Identification Zone over the East China Sea without consultation in November 2013 and the controversial presence of a Chinese oil rig in waters claimed by Vietnam in June 2014.

Nevertheless, Xi Jinping’s address at CICA may have been one of the opening salvos in a longer-term, whole-of-government process by China of solidifying its influence around its periphery. Despite its potential weaknesses, China’s regional diplomacy should continue to be the subject of attention by observers in the region and the United States.

Washington, Take Heed

For the United States and its allies, the challenge may not be competing against a distinct Chinese vision for Asian security. Xi’s remarks at times ignored key security challenges, traded on well-worn axioms, stood at odds with his own pronouncements on US-China relations, and did not detail a credible new security architecture. Moreover, Xi’s call for China to play a more active role in regional security may actually be a positive development, insofar as Beijing is willing to shoulder more responsibility in non-traditional security affairs, explore new types of law enforcement cooperation, etc.55 Rather, the dilemma for Washington could be more prosaic: confronting a country that appears intent on expanding its economic, political, and cultural influence along its periphery, and doing so at a time when the United States is working to sustain its own whole-of-government rebalance to the region. Facing strategic rhetoric of the type deployed by Xi at CICA and Wang at the Shangri-La Dialogue will be part of the challenge.

The United States should take several steps to address this challenge. At a minimum, there is a need to assess the consequences for China’s new peripheral diplomacy on US allies and partners, such as South Korea, India, and Myanmar. This will require an understanding of the full range of economic, political, and cultural policies that China is pursuing to shore up influence with these states and how, if at all, those states may be responding to China’s overtures. Moreover, the United States should also consider the care that China is taking to calibrate an attractive message for a regional audience, including through the use of venues, such as CICA, in which US influence is limited. Depending on the results of Beijing’s effort, Washington may need to take steps to strengthen its own messaging in the region. Finally, the United States should consider how the non-military aspects of its own rebalance to Asia, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and broader cultural engagement, may be affected by China’s simultaneous attempts to improve its own influence in the region.


1. “America Must Always Lead,” President Obama’s Address to West Point Graduates, The White House, May 28, 2014.

2. “Xi Jinping zai Yazhou Xianghui Xiezuo yu Xinren Cuoshi Huiyi disici fenghui shang de jianghua,” Xinhua, May 21, 2014.

3. Fu Peng, ed., “News Analysis: New Security Concept Vital to Asia’s Progress,” Xinhua, May 21, 2014, http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-05/21/c_133350926.htm; “Yazhou anquan guan zhu ti mingyun gongtongti jianshe,” Jiefangjun Bao, May 22, 2014. The scholar was Zhai Kun, director of the Institute of World Political Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), a think tank of the Ministry of State Security.

4. John Ruwith, “China’s Xi Issues Veiled Warning to Asia Over Military Alliances,” Reuters, May 21, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/21/us-china-xi-idUSBREA4K02V20140521; “China’s Xi Warns Asian Countries on Military Alliances,” Voice of America, May 21, 2014, http://www.voanews.com/content/reu-xi-jinping-issues-veiled-warning-to-asia-on-military-alliances/1919035.html; and “China’s Xi Calls for Asia Security Framework at Summit,” Bloomberg, May 21, 2014, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-21/china-s-xi-calls-for-asia-security-framework-at-summit.html.

5. Timothy R. Heath, “China and the U.S. Alliance System,” The Diplomat, June 11, 2014, http://thediplomat.com/2014/06/china-and-the-u-s-alliance-system/.

6. This is a central question in academic debates over whether China is, or may become, a “revisionist” power in Asia. See Alastair Iain Johnston, “Is China a Status Quo Power?” International Security 27, no. 4 (Spring 2003): 5-56; Feng Huiyun, “Is China a Revisionist Power?” Chinese Journal of International Politics 2, no. 3 (Summer 2009): 313-334; and Scott L. Kastner and Phillip C. Saunders, “Is China a Status Quo or Revisionist State? Leadership Travel as an Empirical Indicator of Foreign Policy Priorities,” International Studies Quarterly 56, no. 1 (March 2012):163-177.

7. “Xi Jinping zai Yazhou Xianghui Xiezuo yu Xinren Cuoshi Huiyi disici fenghui shang de jianghua,” Xinhua, May 21, 2014.

8. Ibid.

9. Zhao Shengnan, “US Must ‘Get Used to China’s Rise,’” China Daily, May 22, 2014, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2014cica/2014-05/22/content_17531978.htm. The expert was Pang Zhongying. In addition, People’s Daily quoted Zha Daojiong, who charged that the United States was attempting to “balkanize” Asia by enhancing its alliances with the Philippines and Vietnam. “Zhongguo ‘Yazhou xin anquan guan’ huo jiji pingjia,” Renmin Ribao, June 1, 2014.

10. Thanks to David Finkelstein for this observation. See also: Curtis Chin, “Is New China the Old Japan?” Asia Times Online, July 9, 2014, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/CHIN-01-090714.html.

11. Guo Jiping, “Gongtong jianshe heping, wending yu hezuo de xin Yazhou” (“Build Together a New Asia of Peace, Stability and Cooperation”), Xinhua, 20 May 2014. Guo Jiping is a pseudonym, meaning “international commentary.”

12. “Xi Jinping zai Yazhou Xianghui Xiezuo yu Xinren Cuoshi Huiyi disici fenghui shang de jianghua.”

13. Ibid.

14. Ibid.

15. Ibid.

16. Shengan, “US Must ‘Get Used to China’s Rise.” A Xinhua opinion piece referenced the existence of “territorial and maritime rights disputes” facing China and its neighbors. Yet, the solution offered was equivocal: China advocates consultations to resolve these disputes, but “will absolutely not accept troublemaking by a small country.” Guo Jiping, “Gongtong jianshe heping, wending yu hezuo de xin Yazhou,” Xinhua, May 20, 2014. Guo Jiping is a pseudonym, meaning “international commentary.”

17. Andrew Nathan and Robert Ross, The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997), 4-5.

18. David M. Finkelstein, “China’s New Security Concept: Reading Between the Lines,” The CNA Corporation, Project Asia Issue Paper, April 1999, and Michael McDevitt and David M. Finkelstein, “Competition and Consensus: China’s ‘New Concept of Security’ and the United States’ Security Strategy for the East Asia-Pacific Region,” The CNA Corporation, Project Asia Issue Paper, January 1999.

19. China’s National Defense, State Council Information Office, Beijing, 1998.

20. Thanks to my CNA colleague Dennis Blasko for this insight.

21. “China, US Agree to Build New Type of Relations,” Xinhua, June 8, 2013, http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-06/08/c_132442379.htm.

22. “Xi: World Big Enough for Two Great Nations,” China Daily, July 10, 2014, http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/2014-07/10/content_17697610.htm.

23. See CICA’s webpage, http://www.s-cica.org/page.php?page_id=9&lang=1.

24. Most of the confidence-building measures the organization has adopted center on sharing information, such as exchanging information that member states have taken to curb drug trafficking. The quality of the information provided to date is unclear.

25. Allen Carlson, Unifying China, Integrating with the World (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2005) and Joel Wuthnow, Chinese Diplomacy in the UN Security Council (New York: Routledge, 2013).

26. Leslie H. Gelb and Dmitri K. Simes, “Beware Collusion of China, Russia,” The National Interest, July-August 2013, and Nikolas Gvosdev, “Get Ready World: China and Russia are Getting Closer,” The National Interest, May 20, 2014.

27. Pei Guangjiang and Wang Di, “Steadfastly Take the Path of Peace and Development, Create A Good International Environment for China’s Great Rejuvenation,” People’s Daily, November 22, 2013.

28. “China to Promote Cultural Soft Power,” China Daily, January 1, 2014, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2014-01/01/content_17208354.htm.

29. “Start a New Journey of Chinese Diplomacy,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s Speech at the 2013 China and the World Seminar, PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs, December 18, 2013.

30. Pang Qingjie, “Ningju Yazhou zhihui, gong mou diqu anquan,” Jiefangjun bao. May 20, 2014. The expert is Jin Canrong. Another expert assessed Xi’s speech at CICA as both a “hallmark” and an “important test” of China’s soft power. Fu Yu, “Zhuanjia shijiao: Yazhou anquan guan de jiyu yu tiaozhan,” Guoji xianqu daobao, May 22, 2014.

31. “Xi Jinping zai Yazhou Xianghui Xiezuo yu Xinren Cuoshi Huiyi disici fenghui shang de jianghua.”

32. These states are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Qatar, UAE, and Vietnam. Four other CICA states (China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan) are NAM observers.

33. Five SCO observer states are also CICA members: Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan.

34. Ruwith, “China’s Xi Issues Veiled Warning to Asia Over Military Alliances”; “China’s Xi Warns Asian Countries on Military Alliances.”

35. “Xi Jinping Delivers Important Speech at Diplomatic Work Forum,” Xinhua, October 25, 2013.

36. “Start a New Journey of Chinese Diplomacy.”

37. Evan S. Medeiros, China’s International Behavior: Activism, Opportunism, and Diversification (Santa Monica: RAND, 2009): 53-54.

38. Joshua Kurlantzick, Charm Offensive: How China’s Soft Power Is Transforming the World (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007); and Carola McGiffert, ed., Chinese Soft Power and Its Implications for the United States (Washington, DC: CSIS, 2009).

39. Jing Sun, “Soft Power’s Rise and Fall in East Asia,” Current History (September 2013): 217-223.

40. Li Xiangyang, “Zhongguo zhoubian zhanlüe mubiao yu mianlin de tiaozhan,” Xiandai Guoji Guanxi, October 20, 2013, 37-39.

41. See, e.g., “Zhongguo zhoubian huanjing bianhua yu waijiao yingdui,” Guoji wenti yanjiu, November 5, 2013.

42. Gao Hucheng, “Shenhua jingmao hezuo, gong chuan xin de huihuang” Renmin ribao, July 2, 2014.

43. Zhong Sheng, “Silü jingshen, guanchuan gujin kai xinpian,” Renmin Ribao, February 25, 2014.

44. “Start a New Journey of Chinese Diplomacy”; “PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s News Conference,” PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs, March 8, 2014.

45. “Start a New Journey of Chinese Diplomacy.”

46. “Foreign Minister Wang Yi on President Xi Jinping’s Visits to Four Central Asian Countries,” Xinhua, September 13, 2013.

47. “Xi Jinping tong Pajisidan zongtong Housaiyin jinxing huitan,” Xinhua, February 19, 2014.

48. “South Koreans Impressed by Chinese President’s Personal Charm,” Xinhua, July 8, 2014.

49. Qu Xing, “Tisheng tisu jiali,” Renmin Ribao, October 26, 2013.

50. “China to Promote Cultural Soft Power,” China Daily, January 1, 2014.

51. “Start a New Journey of Chinese Diplomacy.”

52. “Jiefangjun Fuzong Canmouzhang tichu cujin diqu fangwu anquan hezuo de wudian changyi,” Xinhua, June 1, 2014.

53. Joseph S. Nye, Jr., “Why China Is Weak on Soft Power,” The New York Times, January 17, 2012.

54. This latter problem may be exacerbated by poor policy coordination between military and civilian national security bureaucracies, a problem that China has recognized and begun to address with the establishment of a new National Security Commission last year. See Joel Wuthnow, “Decoding China’s New National Security Commission,” The CNA Corporation, November 27, 2013.

55. Thomas J. Christensen, “The Advantages of an Assertive China: Responding to Beijing’s Abrasive Diplomacy,” Foreign Affairs 92, no. 2 (March/April 2011).