Author's School

University College

Author's Department/Program

International Affairs


English (en)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair and Committee

Petar Milich


Foreigners have long been curious about the country that so fiercely safeguards the privacy of its internal affairs, but China’s historical reputation for manifesting an aloof and uninterested attitude towards others has left many outside scholars little choice but to study and examine the country from an external perspective. However, given the continuing controversy and speculation surrounding China’s rise over the past few decades, it is imperative for scholars in this field to become more well-versed in the foundations of China’s social and cultural traditions, to reorient their theoretical approaches to reflect a more relevant perspective in their studies. Of China’s various historical institutions, three are identified as salient pillars for the development of its political culture: social traditions, military philosophies, and the principle of non-intervention. Each is discussed and reviewed within the context of Chinese history following the political evolution of Chinese governance, and examined specifically in the post-1949 period. The durability of these various influences are then evaluated in conjunction with three critical elements of modern China’s political agenda, namely its geopolitical security, its gradual evolution towards “democracy with Chinese characteristics,” and its so-called “charm offensive” to establish international legitimacy. Finally, some concluding remarks comment on the implications that these policies may have, both on the domestic level and within the international sphere.


International Affairs

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