Chinese foreign policy is an extremely dynamic factor in today's world. One way of trying to describe Chinese foreign policy is by determining national role conceptions of Chinese leaders. The national role conception that Chinese leaders have plays an essential part in the development and implementation of Chinese foreign policy. The different conceptions of China's role in the international system, as determined by Chinese leaders, gives an important contribution to understanding the rise of China as a leading world power. It is obvious that different leaders have had different views regarding what China's position should be in the global community. Some leaders have wanted China to become a world leader while others have wanted China to play a different part in international affairs by being a spectator. These different foreign policy behaviors can potentially be a result of the way in which Chinese leaders view themselves in the international system. Therefore, I hypothesize that Chinese national role conception, as determined by Chinese political leaders, leads to the foreign policy behavior of China. With this hypothesis, I wish to document the changes in Chinese leaders' national role conceptions and see if those differing views have led to different foreign policy behavior. This will occur through an analysis of speeches, documents, and writings of different Chinese leaders including Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao. The sources will be analyzed to develop national role conceptions and see if the differing conceptions resulted in different foreign policy behavior.


Lantis, Jeffrey

Second Advisor

Wang, Rujie


Chinese Studies; International Relations


Chinese Studies | International Relations


international relations, foreign policy, china, role theory, national role conceptions

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



© Copyright 2013 Adam Stephan Jankowski