In earlier work Allan, Vucetic, and Hopf argued that the rise of China was unlikely to be accompanied by Chinese hegemony because of the distribution of identities among the world's great powers. In particular, the only great power in the world with which China's "authoritarian capitalism" resonates is Russia. In this work we extend our analysis to China's more immediate neighborhood. As William Wohlforth argued in 1999, China faces a regional hegemony problem long before it faces a global one. He argued we should expect regional balancing to counter China's rise before the US or Europe even need engage. In this paper we explore the distribution of national identities in China's neighborhood and find a far more mixed picture. While most of China's neighbors are indeed likely resistant to Chinese hegemony, as their own identities are incompatible with China's, four countries have self-understandings more consonant with China's and hence are more likely to be accommodative to China's rise in the region: Russia, Cambodia, Laos, and Singapore.
Prof. Ted Hopf - Provost Chair Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science, National University of Singapore
Photo: National University of Singapore