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Foreign Policy and Contending Powers

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At any time in history, various countries take a reflection at their policies and see if they are out of touch or are on track with their behaviors over a particular period of time (Duedney, Daniel, &Jeffrey, 2008, p, 21). According to Rosenau, Smith, & Smith, (2019, p,138, & p, 142) what actually consist of his work on foreign policy analysis in the 1960s and early 1970s the trend of his work is far less easy to determine. Rosenau goes on to claim that, his second volume can offer much light on interdependence and transnationalism which is clearly concerned with the phenomenon of international relations, and in no area, is this more visible than in foreign policy analysis. Foreign Policies had often been described as interplay between various political agents and structures formed by social structures. Also, foreign policies are the determinants in how a country conducts itself. Usually, when the topic of Foreign policies comes up the next topic on the top of most peoples ‘mind is diplomatic ties, countries are always in competition with each other be it business or social structures. One must understand one thing, when it comes to talking about a countries’ foreign policies it all comes down to how they interacts with other nations. Moreover, when considering countries foreign policies it has always been important to pick out what is very essential because, there are quite numerous factors involved when taking particular countries into consideration. The paper attempts to show the crucial factors that matter in the processes that shape them when considering these countries: Iran, United States of America and China. Before, going into details when considering the factors internally they depicts the inputs to the foreign policy making processes as the external, societal, governmental role and individual categories that make up the analytical framework whereas the external source category refers to the attributes of the international system and to the characteristics and behaviors. Foreign policy has to do with relations with other countries so what makes China, Iran and USA so unique and dominant in spheres of influence.

First, the issue of terrorism from the USA’s perspective views Iran as a state sponsor for terrorism whilst China has been well-known to be on the side of America to fight the noteworthy cause of terrorism (Clarke, 2011, p, 128). Most countries have their foreign policies connected to their national character a typical example of that is America. At the mention of America, the first concept that comes to my mind is it democracy and ability for everyone to express their liberties as they want. America has however been the pillar and beacon of democracy for a quite a long time. America to other nations has been an indispensable nation one that has looked further into the future and predict the moves of other nations and has assisted in more than one way. Again, America has had another exceptional aspect to be hailed for and that is Consumerism. This has to do with the financial spending power that the country has and had embraced the system of capitalism.

On the account of Iran, when considering internal affairs leadership usually comes up as a concern. For that reason, Iran’s leadership came with the dramatic rise of Riza Shah commander of Iran’s Russian – trained and only effectively disciplined military force, the Cossack Division. More also, Riza Khah rose to power and maintain the position of Sadar Sipah of the armed forces in political partnership with a leading pro – British nationalist figure, Sayyid Ziya al – Din Taba who become the prime minister in a coup in 1921. Even more, Iran was a country that had always had friendly relations with the United States. Iran is located in the Middle East and surrounded by Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq and Iran had always been seen as a strategic location of Iran between Russia and Britain’s colonial presence in India rendered the country of concern to both powers. Iran and USA relations were somewhat better a century ago. USA used to support the Iranians till the Shi’a came to power and started to distort the relations that Iran once had.

Additionally, in the comments of Bradley, (2007) he clearly states that, Iran’s internal factors had recently been about Khatami’s modest progress till date. Recently, some influence had shown that his second term may gain greater reform, even on the sensitive terrain of United States concerns. His alarming reelection went against widespread expectations and demonstrated the vast shifts in Iran’s political status over the last four years. More also, on the international front Khatami’s renewed mandate vindicates his adjusted outreach to the world, an approach that will become even more importantly over the next four years (Saikal, 1991, p, 426-427).

Some scholars have taken into account a peculiar perspective when considering China that has to do with interdependence and transnationalism. As, to how true this is, we will found out in this paper, in light of this account, China’s international interests under Hu Jintao were in many ways similar to Jiang’s. Then, there was an awesome deal of importance on the safeguarding of the international normalcy and a high awareness on developing trade and cooperation while enriching China’s people and economy (Rosenau et al., 2019). More also, both leaders were much concerned with making sure that China did away with its old way of thinking” and criticized it quickly in other states, for example: the determination of alliances (such as NATO), in the West and concerns over establishing domination. Whereas, while Jiang intensified his diplomacy under Hu become much more cross regional expanding in Africa.

Ever since the commencement of People’s Republic of China in 1949, Beijing had been focused on gaining the territorial, political, economic and cultural integration of Xinjiang and its non– Han ethnic groups into the Chinese state. Now, from the time that Xinjiang was peacefully liberated by the People’s Liberation Army in 1949, China’s approach to the region has been defined by one overarching goal: to integrate Xinjiang with China(Clarke, 2015,p, 127-128). According to Chi kin Cheung (2015,p,205-207) when giving details of china one must not forget about their nationalism which has received quite noticeable attention from academics and it was forecasted that from the path which China took it was certain to prosper in its economic reform. In other words, Chinese nationalism has attained scholarly opinions in the past centuries as China achieves success in economic reform

In the first place, China’s concept of international relations have been developed out of cultural fundamentals of Daoism, Confucianism and Mohism that were teaching the primordial form of ethics over law in human society. Generally, China’s main concept of dealing with outside world stemmed from the philosophical framework of the harmonious and hierarchical universe. For example: China took some drastic internal changes into their implementation of their foreign policy and one popular value of the traditional culture as far as society as well interstate relations are concerned is the concept of hierarchical order and harmony (Cheung, 2012, p,207).

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Now, that I will discuss the China’s approach to foreign affairs and how it implements their foreign goals. It would be good to note that of China when it comes to the China’s influence in the international relations realm? Over the years, China had changed internally which had ensured that they moved from a medium-sized power to a state in search of stability, as well as higher prestige and freedoms connected with a great power, through revolution. Some scholars have held the view that Beijing is widely known for its claim to be a major force based on its increasing market power and military capacities and its greater visibility in global regimes and desire and capacity to further advance its own interests outside of China. As well as, increase its influence within the international system as one of the world's biggest reforms in the turn of the millennium, which would leave the world amazed gaze focused on China leaving an image that illustrates a birth of the superpower, which came up as a new way through a stunning cultural performance, as opposed to a decisive military victory.

Furthermore, there is more about the external factors that influenced China’s foreign policy. As, an example: a typical external influence that made massive improvements in China was when Jiang Zemin left office having made massive changes in developing China’s international relations, including opening up contracts both with the Pacific Rim Region and with other regions. Second, another point will have to do with evidence from a number of major terrorist attacks in the region in recent years which suggests that some extremist Uyghur militants have begun to implement the tactics of other regional and global Islamist organizations. From what was shown above, it can be seen that, China changed over the years and has ceased to have gone back to its old ways that was harboring development (p, 429). Many scholars have pointed out that Chinese nationalism is linked to the continued production and consumption of the century of national humiliation.

Recently, before understanding what China does best, we need to know that it had a history of communist or socialist tendencies which made it what it is now. Despite the fact that, China is been given much pressure from President Trump regarding the economic sanctations levelled against it has flourish. As to the finding out what the internal factors may be would be up to policies that were implemented to ensure that such opportunities were created. To begin with, when it comes to providing a clear understanding of China’s most influential factor with regards to what shapes their policies. Since, Chinese’s domestic politics have had numerous changes during, Maoist times, in knowing who plays a role in China’s international affairs. First, there was a change and it came around the late 1970’s of Deng Xiaoping, who expected greater foreign policy and especially trade expertise from his government. In line with that, Deng’s immediate successors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao stressed on even greater professionalism and education in the foreign policy arena.

In the comments of Pijl (2012, p, 503) China used to be a socialist state and has now changed over the years to a communist state that had been able to take in economic reforms. China has now been able to take the spotlight and has made a name of itself. In the words of Chi-kin Cheung (2012, p, 205) when one takes a look at how far China has reached with their economic reform they have “entered a new stage.” Nevertheless, this stage can be considered as Confucianism a vital aspect in the domestic affairs of China and these policies played an important governing tool in imperial China and for that reason, Confucianism had held the title as the dominant political doctrine in Chinese public life and had a dramatic downfall right after the elimination in 1905 of the imperial examination system which was based on the Confucian classics. Nevertheless, the dates are quite different scholars like that of Jim O’Neill Goldman Sachs chief economist estimates that China will exceed the USA by 2027 at present growth levels (as Pijl, 2012, p, 503 cites Neill, 2009). In the 150th century, the first period culminated in the trips of the Chinese Treasure Fleet under Admiral Zheng He, and in 1978 a gradual introduction of market practices was commenced by the People Republic, spearheaded by Deng Xiaoping.

Another aspect of China’s exceptionalism has to be with its cultural shift. Over the years, China’s international thinking moved considerably from that a medium power seeking to overturn the order of how things used to be via revolution to a state seeking stability. The Chinese model of development took over 30 years of experience. However, there was a new initiative put in place. These new initiative relates with the cultural shift in China which the relevance of socialist ideology has paved the way to the notion of Chineseness, which is actually becoming of nature of acceptance in China’s modernization. Moreover, this cultural change is portrayed in the growing enthusiasm in China for articulating a Chinese perspective all round concerning its development. It seems that China has rather used their own indigenous “model and intellectual trend” to boost China’s modernization.

One vital key doctrine responsible for the tendencies of realism is the Monroe Doctrine. Realism has been one of the aspect of political exceptionalism that has been a dominating spirit in America’s affairs. In that regard, neo realist theories had always aligned with realist sentiment, not liberal idealist aspirations (Morgenthau, 1973, as cited by Rosato & Schuessler, 2011 p, 812). Realism contends that, the international community around a state-centric structure in which national sovereignty is more important than any liberal collective government entity. Moreover, perspective realist theory is a manual for security without war and is therefore a guide for American policy makers today. Whereas, the liberal theory of international relations state that institutions have had to intervene to bring about peace and harmony through cooperation.

Another point for American exceptionalism has to do with Truman Doctrine. This doctrine helped ferment the ideals of Truman and the creation of the NATO to be able to get these communist out of America and rather embrace the ideals of a liberal democracy. Whereas, with the Monroe Doctrine it had become a fundamental law that regulate the policies that USA had to make it a sovereign state. Also, America had always been seen as an empire and had been the pillar of democracy (Essuman, 2018, Duedney, Daniel, &Jeffrey, 2008, p, 21).

In conclusion, countries vary in every affairs and influence that what makes them stand out in what they do. In regard to this question, I will say that it would both factors that matter most in the implementation processes that help shape the country to stand out. Each country represents a particular concept and ideology just like every political office matters in its little way so does both internal and external factors also. In the case of China, it would be the communist party and the economic reform whereas with America it has to do with national character so basically its external influence. Foreign policies have to do with relation with each other what is vital to each such as how geopolitical positioning is to Iran as well as leadership so are the doctrines that are what makes America superior to any other nation and have dominant power in its circle. More also, with regards to China we can see that it is economic and cultural factors and nationalism and turn away from the old way of thinking that has caused the Chinese to be exceptional as well. In my opinion, I think both internal and external factors matter most in the processes that shape the foreign policies. This is because globalization is in process so both external and internal factors play vital roles.

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Foreign Policy and Contending Powers. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 10, 2023, from
“Foreign Policy and Contending Powers.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022,
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