Chih-Yu Shih, Chiung-Chiu Huang | Journal of Chinese Political Science
We rely on the Chinese game of weiqi to conceptualize China’s rival role conceptions and self-role conceptions. Since weiqi compels rivals endowed with the culture of harmony to outplay each other, rivals have no role relation between them. We argue the most apparent but least acknowledged practice that they compete on who enhances self-role performance better for the world to emulate. Exactly because the rivals compete intensely, they give an American watcher a reason to believe that they belong to the same strategic kind familiar to a chess player. We explore Sino-US rivalry accordingly. We maintain that, as rival, China has not expected the US to seriously honor any role duties, meaning they are not mutually obliged to any significant extent. Therefore, on the one hand, China is ready to both practice and bear squeezing and harassing as if no role obligation exist between them. On the other hand, China’s obligation being a rival is to enhance the recognition of China in the world as always being more beneficial than the US is, hence the balance of role relations. This beneficial role conception necessitates China’s pursuit of strategic partnership all over the world, which subdues the US influences.