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China’s Eurasian regionalism in the post-hegemonic world order

How does the growing emphasis of Chinese foreign policy on multilateralism and regionalism affect the multipolarisation of global politics in the 2000s? What is the normative and institutional setting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as the locomotive of the China-led multipolarisation? Post-hegemony refers to a situation in which the unipolar organisation of the global political economy is challenged by a plurality of alternative projects, but without being entirely replaced by another system. The contribution of China’s regionalism to the post-hegemonic world order is centred on four main areas: culture, economy, financial cooperation and regional defence. The driving force of China’s regionalism within the SCO is international security, and this regionalism hinges on a strong normative framework of legitimacy and aims at building an endogenous cultural, educational and defence infrastructure under the initiative of China. It also seeks to accelerate economic, financial and infrastructural development, independent of the US-dominated international institutions. As for the limitations and contradictions of China’s post-hegemonic regionalism, the SCO has to date failed to offer a coherent alternative economic development model to counter US hegemonism. Moreover, the SCO experience still suffers from unresolved tensions between national sovereignty and supranationalism, which adds to the SCO’s lack of bindingness of organisational decisions and military competitiveness with US-dominated organisations.


Eurasia, regionalism, China, hegemony, Shanghai Cooperation Organization


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