Recognition: China’s Long March to Global Integration

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This paper provides a framework for China’s gradual global integration. From historical exclusion, China became initially and partly incorporated to the world in the 1950s and 1960s while ignored by most of the countries. A quantitative breakthrough in the 1970s has led to a universal recognition, still formal and restricted throughout the 1980s and 1990s, making China a great power by the early twenty-first century. China’s rise and gradual integration in the international community is interpreted here based on Marx’s theory of ownership and Professor Charles Taylor’s theory of recognition. Both regard status as a property which is an outcome not just of a unilateral individual claim but of multilateral social relations. Adapted to the international society, these theories underscore China’s global integration. Therefore, China is now entitled to, and capable of, playing a more active and, moreover, leading global role, not just because of its unilateral claims and remarkable achievements, but also, and perhaps much more, because of its multilateral recognition—not in the formal diplomatic sense—of China’s entitlement and capabilities of doing it. Also, in addition to joining, and occasionally heading, international organisations, China introduced its One Belt One Road initiative as a unique contribution of a model for the West, and especially for less-developed countries. While it is post-Mao China’s domestic reform which attract most international attention and are regarded a revolutionary breakthrough with the past, the real and most innovative breakthrough is China’s integration in the world. Domestic reforms were undertaken throughout Chinese history; international integration is new and unprecedented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-181
Number of pages15
JournalChina Report
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 SAGE Publications.


  • China
  • global
  • integration
  • international
  • recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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