Perhaps an important question deals with whether China has been able to convert its rising power into international influence and, if so, whether this influence extends to the international system as a whole or exists on a country-to-country basis. It is widely assumed that China's growing capabilities and activities translate into influence, but the linkage remains assumed and not proven. Evaluating the connection between power and influence should at once help assess the dynamics surrounding China's rise while helping scholars attain a deeper understanding of international relations concepts such as "power transitions" and "great power status."
Political and academic discussions often take for granted that growing Chinese power translates into Chinese influence in world politics. The central question in much of the scholarly and policy literature is "what kind of great power is China becoming?" There are, however, at least questions that must be addressed surrounding the nature of "China's rise" before investigating China's great power status as such.
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