China is commonly assumed to be seeking hegemony in its region. Yet China's region involves it in relationships with major states with their own hegemonic or leadership interests - the US, Russia, Japan and India. This article examines each of China's regional relationships in terms of the prime interests of China's foreign policy framework. It concludes that it is important to distinguish between hegemonic capabilities and intentions: that while China will want to extend its influence as a regional power, its capability to do that will continue to grow in each of its subregions, its ability to exercise that power and influence will be limited. In the past its efforts have been largely to seek secure borders and economic opportunities and that for some years those objectives, together with energy security, are likely to remain the priority.