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  • Author: Michael Yahuda
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: China's continuing rise has brought it to a new stage in its engagement with the outside world. China's growing economic and diplomatic weight has made it an influential player in all parts of the world and it is seeking to consolidate its image as a responsible major player within its own region and in the wider world. The Olympic Games to be held in Beijing next year will offer a major opportunity to show that China has come of age as a modern power. China is reaching a point where the extent and depth of its international interests are not only increasing its stake in the global system, but are also allowing it to begin to make its mark as a potential rule-maker in world affairs. This is particularly noticeable in Africa, where it is successfully challenging the approach of international organisations and Western governments which have made aid and certain other economic exchanges and arms sales conditional on improving the governance of relevant states. China's ''model of development'', which combines rapid economic growth with authoritarian rule, is gaining approval by certain third world governments as a viable alternative to the so-called ''Washington consensus'', which emphasises liberal economics and democratic politics.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Washington, Beijing
  • Author: May-Britt U. Stumbaum
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In its European Security Strategy, the European Union defined the People's Republic of China (PRC) as a strategic partner and envisaged comprehensive cooperation with it, including in the security sector. China and the EU often use the same terms, but the connotation of these terms differs due to fundamentally different security concerns. This article critically assesses the possibilities, prospects and difficulties from a European point of view of pursuing Sino-European cooperation in security matters. It concludes that given basic differences in perception, cooperation is likely to be successful in such fields as environmental disasters and pandemics, but will remain limited in such areas as non-proliferation, the fight against terrorism and energy security.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: China, Europe
  • Author: Nicola Casarini
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Chinese arms embargo issue has gone beyond Sino-European bilateral relations to become a matter of significance - and concern - for East Asian and US policymakers. Thus, an eventual solution depends not only on the interplay between EU and Chinese policymakers' interests and considerations, but is now interconnected with China's domestic developments and regional posture, the security concerns of China's neighbours (especially Japan and Taiwan), the evolution of US-China relations and transatlantic relations.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Europe, Taiwan, East Asia
  • Author: François Godement
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: China's energy policy is traditionally based on self-sufficiency. While energy bottlenecks have often been cited as a limitation to China's economic growth, China has been successful at producing energy using its domestic coal - albeit putting a strain on transport and producing a high degree of pollution. Aggressively after 2001, China has started to search for external resources, both to supply its voracious appetite for oil and to insure its economy against possible geopolitical disruptions - including the threat of sanctions. This has given Chinese companies a life of their own, making them large international actors. Today, China is both saddled with new responsibilities for the developing countries in which it owns sizeable exploitation rights, and influenced by a new thinking on energy security, based on the idea of improving energy efficiency before developing resources. This offers opportunities for the West - and Japan - in cooperating with China, a huge energy importing country, to lessen the dominance of producers, create business opportunities for energy efficiency equipment, and also to cap CO2 and other emissions.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, China
  • Author: Lorenzo Sasso
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: China now holds the world's largest foreign exchange reserves mainly thanks to dynamic export activities. In order to invest and manage these foreign exchange reserves, the Chinese government recently announced the constitution of a new State Foreign Exchange Investment Company (SFEIC) aimed at improving the yield on them. This new investment vehicle will face multiple challenges ranging from showing solid financial gains to establishing effective rules for corporate governance that guarantee transparency in company management. In addition to the legal aspects, numerous economic and political implications will arise from this new government-controlled tool.
  • Topic: Government, Governance
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Maria Teresa Salvemini
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: There is a general consensus that the long period of stagnation that has afflicted the European economy is a symptom of more profound structural problems that cannot be solved with expansionary macroeconomic demand policies, much less left up to market forces or financial rigour. The most important problem is the low productivity of European economies, which has now been recorded for many years. This low productivity can be explained in a number of ways, including inadequate public investment in both physical and human capital. Although the link between public investment and productivity and efficiency in the private sector is indirect, and therefore cannot always be precisely quantified, there can be no doubt that the effect of market failures are being felt in numerous sectors of the economy: advanced and applied research, training in information technologies, environmentally compatible infrastructure, low-yield and capital-intensive investments, to mention just a few. Thus, there is room for new development policies based on building the public capital – material and immaterial – which is needed to stimulate that growth of productivity in the private sector that economic theory and historical experience have found to be important.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Bart Kerremans, Edith Drieskens, Daniele Marchesi
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Both Belgium and Italy want to give their current mandate in the UN Security Council a European dimension. Yet, the conclusion that they are natural partners in doing so may be premature. Before focussing on Belgian and Italian objectives, the article presents the current state of the ongoing reform processes in Brussels and New York and of EU actorness in the Security Council more generally, as both are critical for estimating the prospects for a stronger European profile. It concludes by discussing the possibilities and constraints that the non-permanent members face within this framework.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: New York, Europe, Belgium, Italy, Brussels
  • Author: Roberto Menotti
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: NATO, the EU, and the UN have been the cornerstones of Italy's foreign policy since WWII: although they continue to provide a point of reference, these institutions are undergoing major changes that reflect - and partly create - a very unpredictable international environment. The evolving security agenda, choices made by key allies (especially the United States), and domestic political forces, are putting Italian decision-makers under pressure. There is a serious problem of resource constraints while the country is still unwilling to make clear-cut choices based on unavoidable tradeoffs. The past few years witnessed a mix of continuity and change due to the political orientations of successive governments under these challenging circumstances.
  • Topic: Security, NATO
  • Political Geography: United States, Italy
  • Author: Xu Xin
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: New directions in the study of China's foreign policy, edited by Alastair Iain Johnston and Robert S. Ross, Stanford University Press, 2006.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Claudia Astarita
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: Il secolo cinese : storie di uomini, città e denaro dalla fabbrica del mondo, Federico Rampini, Mondadori, 2006 and La Cina alla conquista del mondo : la società, la politica, l'economia e le relazioni internazionali, Maria Weber, Newton Compton, 2006.
  • Political Geography: China, Italy