Beyond dependency: the promise of Confucianism in Post-Westphalia International relations

In: Bandung
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  • 1 City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Ave, Hong Kong

The landscape of post-colonial development is marked by deepening dependency of the developing states on the core states consisted mainly of western developed countries. The continuous widening of the north–south divide is not surprising given that the discourse on international relations has been dominated by western ideologies of realism, liberalism and constructivism, resulting in an insufficient attempt to examine international relations from a non-Westphalian perspective. Through the implementation of the Washington Consensus, developing countries are being forced to follow the development model of liberal democracy designed by the West, for the benefit of the West. This paper attempts to investigate an alternative approach from a Chinese historical structural perspective. By highlighting the key tenets of Confucianism, this paper aims to contribute towards a non-Western international relations discourse that is based on moral values. Attempts by China to provide assistance to the “poor south” are marred by accusations of neo-colonialism. In order to fulfil its great power responsibility, China needs to incorporate these Confucian values into its Beijing Consensus so that the global south can abandon their dependency on the West and truly set the stage for south-south cooperation.

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