July 21st Highlights

Asia’s economic integration, Tsinghua’s Forum and more on world order

China’s Yang Jiechi at the World Peace Forum (Source: Xinhua)

Academic Exposure: The Belt and Road as the Last Step in China’s Asian Economic Integration

In this article, Cheng King and Jane Du offer an assessment of the BRI’s feasibility in Asia, with a particular focus on the recognition of Chinese capital in Asian markets. To conduct this study, data was derived from China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the World Bank’s World Development Indicators, and the database of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), looking at investments between 2004 and 2015. China’s steady growth has pushed it abroad towards new markets and to find new sources of growth. Through the BRI, China is effectively trying to establish a China-led economic circle in Asia.

However, the authors note that the BRI is “fraught with obstacles” ranging from cooperation-based competition and the need to integrate the project into the international framework of economic cooperation. “Asia, as the first stop along the [BRI] is vital to China’s success,” but the region’s capacity to absorb China’s industrial overcapacity “may not be as satisfactory as expected.”

Cheng King, Sun Yat-Sen University and East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore. His major research foci include fiscal management in China between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries and the process of post-war economic catch-up in East and Southeast Asia.

Jane Du, is at the East Asian Institute of the National University of Singapore. Her current research interests include

Expert View: China Development Banks Expand Links with Foreign Lenders

This article describes a possible shift in the policy of China’s development banks with reports of increasing co-operation with overseas financial institutions. As a result, banks such as the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China may start to lend more according to “international standards” for overseas infrastructure projects, such as open tenders and environmental impact studies. As the authors note, the outreach is not limited to Europe, but also includes the Islamic Development Bank, the “largest development organisation in the Muslim world.”

Biggest News: Tsinghua University hosts the World Peace Forum

From July 14 to 15, China’s Tsinghua University hosted its 7th World Peace Forum (第七届世界陪你过论坛). With “Constructing a Security Community” as its main theme, the Forum was focused on presenting new concepts of international relations to explain realities that “ones promoted by the West can no longer adapt to.” The Forum of course was held during increasing trade tensions between the US and China.

Interesting readings include the speeches by Le Yucheng and Yang Jiechi. In anticipation of the Forum, Yan Xuetong gave an interview in which he gave his views on the current world order. I have provided an English overview of the interview (in Chinese) in this thread.

To Read over Breakfast: The Global Challenge is Bigger than China

With all our focus on China, it is perhaps easy to lose perspective on other countries. This article offers a swift remedy for this fallacy by looking at the growth of regions comprising the “Rest” and how this growth facilitates regional and global growth, beyond China.

So regardless of the wisdom of trade wars, is it time for the West to circle the wagons? Digging in our heels may soothe our anxieties about how the world is turning, but we are not likely to reverse its course. The global south is growing faster because it has more room to improve its productivity, education, and health. If we and other wealthy countries pursue regressive policies, it will simply create political space for China to act as the avatar of the rising world. China’s new arrogance might alienate its neighbors, but our efforts to contain China are likely to isolate ourselves from global growth. We are posing a choice for much of the world between our sticks and China’s carrots. Which would you choose?

This argument echoes an earlier article that was featured on this page last week.

In Other News:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *