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  • Author: KUIK Cheng-Chwee
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Malaysia's China policy in the post-Cold War era – as an instance of a smaller state's strategy toward a proximate and rising great power – has been characterized by three patterns. First, there was a shift from hostility and guarded rapprochement during the Cold War to cordiality and maturing partnership in the post-Cold War era. Second, despite the overall positive development, Malaysia's China policy has remained, in essence, a hedging approach that is driven by both a pragmatic desire to maximize benefits from a closer relationship with the neighboring giant and a contingent calculation to guard against any long-term strategic risks in the uncertain regional environment. Third, such a two-pronged approach, which took shape since the 1990s under Mahathir Mohamad, has endured beyond the Mahathir era. Indeed, under his successors Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib Tun Razak, Malaysia has continued to pursue a policy of dualism vis-à-vis China. What explains the enduring continuity of the hedging approach in Malaysia's China policy? This paper adopts a neoclassical realist perspective, arguing that the continuity is attributed to both structural and domestic factors. Domestically, the changing bases of political legitimation in the multi-ethnic country, which highlight the increasing salience of economic performance and political inclusiveness as key sources of moral authority to the UMNO-led coalition government, have necessitated the succeeding leaders to continue pursuing a pragmatic policy aimed at ensuring a stable and productive relationship with China, not least to gain from the steadily growing bilateral trade and the giant's growing outward investment. Structurally, Malaysia's position as a smaller state has compelled it to be constantly vigilant about the uncertainty of state intentions and inter-great power relations, which in turn demands it adopts contingent measures to hedge against longer-term risks. It is such structural and domestic determinants that have fundamentally shaped the country's policy towards China in general and the South China Sea issue in particular, which characteristically bears the mark of a delicate dualism, i.e. an explicit preference for engaging China through bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, but one that is backed by a low-key practice of maintaining and strengthening its traditional military links with its Western security partners.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Cold War, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Malaysia, Israel
  • Author: Thomas Carothers, Richard Youngs
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The emergence of a multipolar world gives Western democracy advocates cause for both optimism and anxiety. China's success sparks fears of the spread of an autocratic development model. Yet democratic states such as Brazil, Indonesia, India, South Africa, and Turkey are also gaining ground. These countries serve as powerful examples of the universal appeal of democracy and possess unique experiences with democratization. The United States and Europe understandably hope that rising democracies will use their growing prominence to defend democratic values abroad, potentially revitalizing international democracy support.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Indonesia, Turkey, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Alexandros Petersen, Katinka Barysch
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Energy has come to symbolise the geopolitics of the 21st century, reflecting countries' diminishing reliance on military and political power. Today, energy is an instrument of geopolitical competition, like nuclear weapons or large armies were during the Cold War. The means of international influence have become more diverse and sophisticated, but the goals remain much the same: national security, power projection, and control over resources and territory.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Central Asia
  • Author: Nathaniel Ahrens
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Indigenous innovation has become the greatest immediate source of economic friction between the United States and China. This trend is not unique to these two countries; policy makers globally are actively trying to stimulate domestic innovation. The burgeoning markets for biotech and environment-related products and services and, potentially even more important, countries' efforts to emerge from the global economic slowdown all reinforce this trend. Mindful of this global scene, China has made indigenous innovation one of the core elements of its attempt to make a structural shift up the industrial value chain.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Tianjian Shi, Meredith Wen
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: After the election of Barack Obama as president, Carnegie's Beijing Office assembled a group of leading scholars of international relations to discuss their expectations of the new administration. This policy brief conveys their opinions on various aspects of Sino-American relations and on America foreign policy in general.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing
  • Author: Michael Pettis
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Participants in the recently completed G20 meeting in London agreed on a number of measures, some substantial and some merely symbolic, but they sidestepped the real issues dividing the major economic powers and, in so doing, failed to address the root causes of the global trade and investment imbalances. This was almost inevitable. China, Europe, and the United States have incompatible conceptual frameworks for understanding the causes of the global financial crisis; furthermore, their conflicting domestic political constraints make agreement on solutions hard to reach. Europeans believe that the root cause of the crisis was excessively deregulated financial systems, and they are skeptical about U.S. and Chinese calls for fiscal expansion, worrying that excessive spending would prolong the imbalances and make the ultimate adjustment more difficult. China also believes that the roots of the crisis lie within the structure of the global financial system, although Beijing insists that it was mainly the reserve status of the U.S. dollar that permitted imbalances to develop to unsustainable levels. China is particularly vulnerable to trade protection and seeks to maintain open markets for its continued export of domestic overcapacity. Like the United States, it is pushing for more aggressive, globally coordinated fiscal expansion. However, because of rigidities in its financial system and development model, its fiscal response to the crisis may exacerbate the difficult global adjustment and may, ironically, increase the chances of trade friction. In a time of contracting demand, the United States controls two-thirds of the most valuable resource in the world: net demand. Consequently, it is U.S. policies that will determine the pace and direction of the global recovery, along with the institutional framework that will govern trade and investment relationships for decades to come. The crisis puts the United States more firmly at the center of the emerging world order than ever. So far, the United States has not understood the need to consider the global outcomes of its recovery policies. Until the major powers can reach consensus about the roots of the imbalance and cooperate on policies to promote recovery, it is likely that the world economy will get worse before it gets better. The United States will drive the recovery process, but in order to do so effectively it will need to recognize its position of strength and negotiate the appropriate agreements with other major powers, especially China, on the pace and nature of the adjustment.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, London
  • Author: Albert Keidel
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Since market reforms began in 1978, China's economy has shown cyclical fluctuations. These cycles of change appear in obvious statistical patterns-faster growth and then slower growth, higher price inflation and then lower inflation, stronger investment flows and then weaker investment-and all are accompanied by other cyclical fluctuations in a range of variables and policy initiatives. Most of these fluctuations tend to move together. Their beauty is that they allow analysis of which fluctuations influence others and, by extension, which policies might make a difference in managing China's economy. In this regard, the cyclical interaction between China's formal urban economy and its rural economy is particularly relevant for the issues facing Chinese policy makers today.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Governance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: William Chandler
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The United States and China seemingly remain locked in a climate suicide pact, each arguing the other is the reason for inaction. U.S.–China climate cooperation is urgently needed to avert climate disaster. The current situation of the energy sectors in the United States and China offers a solution. China and the United States can set and cooperate to achieve national goals and implement enforceable measures. If this U.S.– China policy experiment works, China and the United States could develop packages of policies and measures, test them for efficacy, correct them, and share them with other countries.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Albert Keidel
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: China's economy will surpass that of the United States by 2035 and be twice its size by midcentury, a new report by Albert Keidel concludes. China's rapid growth is driven by domestic demand—not exports—and will sustain high single-digit growth rates well into this century. In China's Economic Rise—Fact and Fiction, Keidel examines China's likely economic trajectory and its implications for global commercial, institutional, and military leadership.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Sandra Polaski
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: A debate has raged between developed and developing country governments for several years over whether or not to establish a global agreement on minimum labor standards that would be enforced at the international level through the World Trade Organization (WTO) or some other mechanism. That debate has become stale and ritualized. In the meantime the world has changed. For developing countries, the environment in which global labor standards must be considered was transformed in 2002.
  • Topic: Development, Industrial Policy, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China