Brent Scowcroft Center Resident Senior Fellow Robert A. Manning writes for Foreign Policy on what China stands to gain and lose in 2016 coming out of its foreign policy strategy from 2015:
For world powers such as the United States, Japan, and their allies, concerns about the rise of China can be traced to one trend: that even as it has integrated itself into the global economy and existing institutions, China has tried to define its role as a major power by creating alternative organizations that challenge the existing regional and global order. A chain of developments in recent months, however —a new Chinese diplomatic activism in the Middle East not least among them — has complicated any judgment of Beijing’s global strategy.
In recent months, the world has witnessed an interesting — at least tactical — adjustment in Chinese diplomacy, away from the “in-your-face” post-2008 assertiveness and toward warmer, friendlier approach to China’s global engagement. One example was the September summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama, where the Chinese leader ostensibly committed to cooperation on the hot-button irritant in Sino-American relations — cyber security. Even more dramatic has been Beijing’s back peddling in the region: Xi has twice met with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, revived the ROK-China-Japan trilateral mechanism, and normalized ties with Vietnam and the Philippines. In his most creative — and unprecedented — move, he met with Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou in Singapore.