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Not since the debate in the mid-1960s over containment with or without isolation have the implications of rising Chinese power been so pervasive and controversial as in recent years. This article joins the debate by tracking and explaining China’s path to great power status in the post-cold war era of globalization. Globalization has greatly influenced not only the dynamics of power on the world stage but also the very meaning of power. While external assessments of the significance of a rising China vary considerably depending on normative or theoretical perspective, China’s own conceptualization and assessment have come to focus more on economic, scientific, and technological than military factors. As China is increasingly integrated into the world community, how it wields whatever power it holds determines in the end the character of its international influence.