Newsletter: Foreign Affairs


President Xi Jinping wants to do more than just ensure that China “is adequately represented” within the existing international system. Rather, “his understanding of the centrality of China . . . connotes a radically transformed international order,” Elizabeth Economy argues in a new essay. “In Xi’s vision, a unified and resurgent China would be on par with or would surpass the United States.” And, in contrast to the imperfect but indisputably liberal foundation of the post–World War II system, Xi’s order is built on institutions, laws, and technologies that “reinforce state control, limit individual freedoms, and constrain open markets.”


Yet Xi’s confidence in Chinese dominance could be his undoing, “preventing him from recognizing the resistance Beijing is stoking through its actions abroad,” Economy writes. “Xi’s success depends on whether he can adjust and reckon with the blowback. Failing to do so could lead to further miscalculations that may end up reshaping the global order—just not in the way Xi imagines.”

Read more from Foreign Affairs on China’s evolving role in international politics:


China’s Self-Defeating Economic Statecraft” by Audrye Wong

Becoming Strong: The New Chinese Foreign Policy” by Yan Xuetong

Xi’s Gamble: The Race to Consolidate Power and Stave Off Disaster” by Jude Blanchette

A World Safe for Autocracy?” by Jessica Chen Weiss

The Taiwan Temptation: Why Beijing Might Resort to Force” by Oriana Skylar Mastro