Not so long ago, America considered China a challenge to the liberal world order so it began to integrate Beijing in international institutions and system. Now after this task has been accomplished, the global influence of the US is waning. For decades, the crisis of capitalism, the populist reaction to economic inequality and the dual approach towards globalising the liberal world order brewed a storm which has culminated in Trump being elected as President of the US. His policies on trade and climate change are helping Beijing grow powerful in the international arena. The more powerful a state is in world politics, the more influence it wields to shape the world order. So what impact China could have on the liberal world order? The world order is the distribution of power and authority among the states in global politics. Before WW-I, power rested in Europe so a multipolar order emerged where the states kept vying for influence and dominance. Gradually, the global power accumulated in the US and the Soviet Union at the end of the WW-II, which fashioned a bipolar order. The Atlantic Charter, establishment of the United Nations and, after General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the World Bank shaped the contours of the international system which had indomitable American characteristics. The spirit of the Bretton woods institutions and system, along with other international organisations and entities, was imbued with liberalism, which afterwards got a dominant shade of neo-liberalism and globalisation. When the Soviet Union disintegrated, the US became the sole superpower and the moment of unipolar word order prevailed. In this era states’ demand for their “fair and just share” in the international system was always choked by pulling the strings of institutions that have remained at the service of their architects. The demand never died out and with the rise of other players, especially China, many a state began to occupy the locus of power where America failed. South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East, for instance. China with its economic might has been increasing its political and diplomatic clout in the world. Its dealing with the rest of the world and its approach towards international institutions is marked with three distinguished characteristics. Firstly, despite its strategy of ‘march west’, Beijing has continued its engagement with the ASEAN countries while switching between assertiveness and diplomatic cordiality here and then. Here is the takeaway, Beijing will not give up its claims in its immediate territory and continue to end the disagreement by bringing the contending states in its closer embrace, applying a mix of geopolitics and geo-economics tactics. China’s handy and most instrumental policy tool in diluting the disagreements has been bilateralism. Here China calls the shots. It applies this policy option particularly in the projects and initiatives which may decrease the influence of other major players of Asia — Japan and India Secondly, it is creating a network of multilateral institutions at the regional level especially where it has resources to contribute and to flex its management muscle in the complete consonance of the local leadership. In Central Asia, it established the Shanghai Corporation Organisation which has become a powerful force in managing the regional affairs. For Asian development, it founded the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), dubbed as a parallel institution to the World Bank. Though it is debatable, yet it offers an insight into the Chinese characteristics in a multilateral institution. Compared with the other Bretton Woods institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for example, AIIB is not micromanaged by Beijing. The World Bank and IMF conditions the aid and development projects with the spread of liberal and democratic values where AIIB doesn’t put such a constraint on the states seeking its help. China, being the main architect of the bank, prefers to stay out of the internal affairs of a state. Moreover, AIIB’s article of Agreement bars the member states from influencing political affairs. Thirdly, other than multilateralism, China’s handy and most instrumental policy tool in diluting the disagreements has been bilateralism. Here China calls the shots. It applies this policy option particularly in the projects and initiatives which may decrease the influence of other major players of Asia, Japan and India. Belt and Road Initiative is the case in point. The most striking pattern of bilateral engagement appeared in China’s signing of Hambantota Port Deal with Sri Lanka. The remarkable feature of the deal is that it was approved by the parliament of Sri Lanka which endowed the sole responsibility of the security and commercial operations to the Sri Lankan government. Beijing’s approach in signing agreements is in sharp contrast with the American approach of bullying states while ordering “either you are with us or against us.” Consensus and no-conditionality are the hallmark of the institutions designed by China. Negotiation and the will-of-people is the significant matter for Beijing in striking a deal with any other country. However, sticking to its guns in the case of an unfair dispute is also a salient feature of the Chinese culture, which most dislike. The new world order is not likely to be dominated by one player only; it would be a mosaic of asymmetric powers with China as one of its most influential player. History provides insight into the present while the present sets the base for insight into the future. China’s present is hardly at odds with its past practices. Its current engagements and actions bode well for a harmonious order. The writer is Lecturer in International Relations Department NUML Islamabad and Coordinator of the department. He has been writing on Politics, Social Issues and Education for Pakistan Observer. He also writes for Express Tribune Blogs. He has also been published in China’s Shanghai Daily. He has worked at FRIENDS as Research Associate and Assistant Editor Published in Daily Times, October 10th 2017.