Document Type

Honors Project

Publication Date



In this research paper, I will explore the possibilities of China's peaceful rise and evaluate emerging China in the international system in the contemporary world. The research questions are grounded in what explains China's rise and how we should evaluate China as a great power, particularly in the post-pandemic time. Mainly, I will pursue this examination using two theories—neo-realism and neo-liberalism—and argue that China's peaceful rise is more likely to happen via the use of soft power as China employs extensive soft-power strategies based on its traditional Chinese cultural idea of harmony and the utilization of state media as a mechanism for communication to respond to the United States' containment, especially during the post-pandemic period. With a specific focus on the integration of primary sources and second-level analyses, this research closely examines China's survival competition and security dilemma with the US and its surrounding countries through a neo-realist perspective and elaborates on China's exertion of cultural attractions, the applicability of economic interdependence and temptation, and China's management of the global pandemic via a neo-liberal approach in comparison with the US, which suggests a high likelihood of China's peaceful rise in international politics in the future.

Level of Honors

magna cum laude




Claudena Skran