China is growing, if not already an economic and political giant. Yet, there are some who averred that China's behavior in South China Sea, with its overarching 9 dash lines, which has time and again been repudiated by the international community, is but a school yard bully, if not a temperamental teenager that has yet to acquire the stable value system and inner clarity to know who or what s/he will become.
China, in other words, is the "unknown unknown" of contemporary international relations. Rex Li argued that this does not have to be the case------if one seeks to understand the insecurities and sensitivities of China, especially in relation to China's interaction with the United States; Japan and other surrounding neighbors. The process to empathize with China's real or perceived concern can do much to assuage the tensions within the country. Following the epistemic theory of Peter Haas, that scholars and specialists can have an impact on the policy of a country and region, Rex Li argued that all is not too late yet to understand China, especially through the vantage point of its domestic think tanks and scholars. If there is a process to engage them now, and first, the acute security tensions of China, can be tackled slowly but surely to render China a "responsible stakeholder."