Directly engaging, picking sides or deploying troops in a conflict would mark the clear end of China's Dengist foreign policy and raise the country to the status of an interventionist power like Russia, the United States or the European states.
For some three decades, the words of Deng Xiaoping have guided Chinese foreign policy. "Observe calmly," he cautioned, "secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and never claim leadership. Deng's was a "China first" policy, one that sought to avoid conflict and trouble while building up the country's domestic capacity and strength. And on the whole, it has been a successful foreign policy. But now, Beijing is nearing the limits of its long-standing foreign policy. ...
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