The "Asia-Pacific Dream": Is China Using Economic Integration Initiatives as Ideological Weapons?

Journal of China and International Relations. 2017;5(1):1-34 DOI 10.5278/ojs.jcir.v5i1.1915


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Journal of China and International Relations

ISSN: 2245-8921 (Online)

Publisher: Aalborg University Press

Society/Institution: Aalborg University

LCC Subject Category: Political science

Country of publisher: Denmark

Language of fulltext: English, Chinese

Full-text formats available: PDF



Anke Berndzen (University of Southern Denmark)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 30 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This article examines the function and role of the "Asia-Pacific Dream" (including the FTAAP) in China's foreign policy strategy by analysing the speech in which Xi Jinping promoted this dream, and creating a link between China's push for regional economic integration, soft power strategy and "universal values". While China is promoting this concept and the FTAAP to increase its influence in the region, the U.S. have also been rebalancing to Asia through different means, such as its push for the TPP. These two free trade agreements (FTA), though not mutually exclusive, are considered to be directed against each other, indicating a struggle for influence in the region, and also seem to entail an ideological agenda. As both the "Asia-Pacific Dream" and the U.S. "pivot to Asia" are connected to major FTA's, this paper argues that the motives for promoting these FTAs go far beyond economic interests; the research suggests that they are used to increase soft power in the region as well as to influence the discourse on "universal values".