Werner MEISSNER (Hong Kong Baptist University), China's Response to September 11 and its Changing Position in International Relations, English/15 pages, September 2002.


This paper investigates the response of the People's Republic of China to the September 11 attacks and how they affected the country's strategic situation. It explores the geopolitical changes since the attacks as well as possible consequences for China's role in Asia. After the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999 and the Hainan spy plane incident in April 2001, Sino-American relations deteriorated rapidly. The attacks on September 11 seem to have led to a new rapprochement between both sides, at least on the surface. However, whether the surprising but also encouraging signals from Washington and Beijing which preceded the summit on February 21/22 in Beijing will lead to a sustainable strategic engagement in East Asia between the two powers remains doubtful. The paper argues that after September 11, China's strategic position in Asia has become more critical in terms of its objectives in Central Asia, Northeast Asia, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.