Since the 1980s, Beijing has been seeking to devise an integrated foreign-policy approach to its neighbours. An important driving force here is the desire for peace, stability and economic cooperation. China has improved diplomatic relations with its neighbours and Russia and softened its line towards Taiwan. The Asian economic crisis starting in 1997 provided a further chance to improve regional relations. But China has felt challenged on the issue of sovereignty by land and maritime border disputes, and Hong Kong and Macao. Rivalry is strong with Japan and India. Crucial relations with the USA have been uneven, especially since the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989. China has yet to reconcile attempts to appear regionally benign, while remaining assertive and belligerent where its national interests are concerned.
Zhao, Suisheng (1999) China's Periphery Policy and Its Asian Neighbors, Security Dialogue 30 (3): 335–346.