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《Collected Papers of Historical Science》 2004-01
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Sustainable International Leadership:Lessons from the Sino-Vietnamese Relationship, 968-1885

Brantly Womack (Department of Politics, University of Virginia ,Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA)  
The major challenge of the post Cold War era is the sustainability of a world order not based on the competition of great powers, and Western international relations theory is not equipped to cope with this challenge. This essay reviews the Chinese experience with sustainable unipolar leadership using the example of its nine centuries of relations with an independent Vietnam before French colonialism. It is argued that this sustained asymmetric relationship was not the result of victory and domination, but rather the evolution of a role pattern in which each side felt reasonably confident that its vital interests were not at risk and that there was a general advantage in maintaining the relationship. Role based asymmetric leadership has weaknesses as well as strengths, and it cannot be applied directly in the modern era, but it suggests general lessons concerning the management of asymmetric international relations.
【CateGory Index】: D829
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