Wednesday, April 11, 2007 | 12:00 AM EDT - 12:00 AM EDT

In his book, Rising Star: China’s New Security Diplomacy, Bates Gill, Freeman Chair in China Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies, traces the shift in China’s security diplomacy to several factors, among them its concern with American primacy in the post-Cold War world, its vision for its own peaceful rise and the emergence of “new thinkers” in China who have provided the theoretical underpinnings for a more pragmatic approach.

He gave examples in his talk to illustrate some of the interesting changes manifest in this new approach. For instance, sovereignty and non-intervention have long been key watchwords in China’s diplomacy. Yet, China has shown willingness to intervene, or acquiesce to others’ intervention, in recent years. It gave its blessing to intervention in East Timor, has on some occasions restrained North Korea’s access to resources and finances and is quietly ratcheting up pressure on Sudan. During the discussion with the audience, Dr. Gill talked about Beijing’s use of soft power, the size and strength of the “moderate middle” in Washington political circles and the relationship between China’s domestic interests and its foreign policy.