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C3S Issue Brief VIII: Chinese Strategic Culture- Exploring the Underpinnings of Chinese Policy Makin

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

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C3S Issue Brief: 008/2020

C3S launches its Issue Brief initiative. An Issue Brief is a summary of the knowledge surrounding an issue or a problem. It summarises the issue giving clear, concise and complete information describing all facets of a particular issue including a detailed illustration in the form of images, data, and facts. It also includes recommendations for action and predictions on the future course of an issue.

Issue Briefs are available for download as PDFs.


The aim of this paper is to define present-day Chinese strategic culture and explore the central elements of Chinese strategic thought under the presidency of Xi Jinping. Chinese strategic culture is found to be built on the philosophies of Confucianism and the Tianxia theory. The policies and initiatives undertaken by Xi Jinping have been studied in order to arrive at the central themes of Chinese strategic thought- the maintenance of order and stability; the consolidation and projection of power; an emphasis on Chinese leadership along with the construction of Chinese spheres of influence. The study of strategic culture can provide insights into how a country frames its policies by tracing key historical conceptions over various subjects such as alliances, war, and state behaviour. By conceptualising Chinese strategic culture, useful explanations over why the state and various other actors have taken specific actions in various circumstances can be put forth, thus rendering the study of strategic culture crucial in explaining the recent border disputes with India. The paper will conclude with implications for relations with India by exploring possible areas of cooperation and areas of persisting conflict.

Read the full PDF at this link: 

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About the Author

R. M. V Pavan Raghavendra is a Research Intern at the Chennai Centre for China Studies. He is a student from Shiv Nadar University, Noida, Uttar Pradesh pursuing his degree in International Relations. The views expressed are personal. 

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