Biblid: 0543-3657, 74 (2023)
Vol. 74, No 1189, pp. 31-56
Received: 01 Sep 2023
Accepted: 05 Oct 2023
CC BY-SA 4.0
FROM GLOBALISATION “FRIEND” TO GLOBAL “FOE”: THE EVOLUTION OF THE US STRATEGIC NARRATIVE ON CHINA’S RISE
MITIĆ Aleksandar (Research Fellow, Institute of International Politics and Economics, Belgrade, Serbia), firstname.lastname@example.org
The United States’ strategic narrative on the rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has evolved throughout a half-century of changing world orders and mutual perceptions of strategic intent. From the early 1970s and during the last two decades of the Cold War, the US saw a bipolar world in which it sought to assist China’s own rise as a partner in Soviet containment and economic globalisation. During its “unipolar moment” in the post-Cold War era, Washington maintained strong economic engagement but increasingly perceived Beijing as an uneasy partner and rising competitor. With the acknowledgement of the transition towards multipolarity, a bipartisan consensus emerged in Washington about the necessity to contain China’s rise as a global political and military power and to blunt its challenge to the “rules-based order” (RBO). The evolution from globalisation “friend” to global “foe” points to three directions of the current US strategic narrative on China’s rise: defending the RBO, de-coupling to secure Western-normed globalisation, and shaping the Indo-Pacific security environment. The paper concludes that while the US has succeeded in aligning the three forms of strategic narrative (system, identity, and policy), it faces considerable challenges, including from China’s counter-narratives.
Keywords: US foreign policy; China’s rise; USChina relations; Indo-Pacific; strategic narrative; strategic communication; multipolarity; containment.