Beijing has a global footprint now, a consequence of its booming domestic growth and breakneck international expansion. And decisions that once were made on purely parochial grounds — like censoring Web sites, protecting the interests of its state-owned companies and restricting the flow of foreign news and entertainment into China — now have international ramifications.
“This is a country in the middle of a big transition in its global role,” said Kenneth Lieberthal, a veteran China analyst now at the Brookings Institution. “They’ve always looked in the past to what’s good for China, and they still do. But for the first time, added to that is the consideration that they’re in the position of being rule-makers, not just rule-takers.”
China’s leaders, he said, “are just beginning to learn how to handle that.”