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  • Author: David Gordon, Haoyu Tong
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This report is the first of two synthesising the findings of a major research workshop convened in Washington DC on 26 June 2019, by The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), as part of its multi-year project on China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The IISS commissioned ten papers that addressed development-finance and security issues in the BRI, prepared by leading scholars and policy practitioners. They were joined at the workshop by more than two dozen other experts on China’s international behaviour. This first report focuses on development-finance issues in the BRI; the second will address security issues broadly cast. China’s Belt and Road Initiative is now six years old. Announced by (then) newly ensconced President Xi Jinping, it has since become the centrepiece of Xi’s ambitious drive to make China a more active global leader, and to break free from the cautious approach set out more than 30 years earlier by then-paramount-leader Deng Xiaoping – that China’s strategic approach should be to ‘hide its capacities and bide its time’. At the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 19th Congress in 2017, the BRI was integrated into the party’s charter. Much of the early analytical work on the BRI has focused on questions surrounding China’s motivations – economic or geopolitical. Is Xi’s initiative a response to changing domestic economic circumstances? Or does it signal evidence of China’s intent to build a twentyfirst- century imperium modelled on the post-war United States-led experience, more than on European colonial or earlier Asian empires? The emerging consensus on this question is that it has been a bit of both. At the same time, an often overlooked factor is Xi’s constant need to further consolidate his power inside China, as the economics versus geopolitics debate about the motivations for the BRI gives too little attention to the more purely political dimension. The BRI cannot be separated from Xi’s efforts to cast himself domestically as an exceptional leader for an exceptional moment in China’s history.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Infrastructure, Hegemony, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Jyrki Kallio
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: China’s recent policy paper on the European Union shows that the country continues to recognize the EU as an important partner in many fields. A new, distressing element is that China has toughened its demands towards the EU to respect its core interests and to refrain from meddling in its internal affairs.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Affairs, European Union, Conflict
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Keiko Ito
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper summarises the major findings and arguments in the literature on the impact of globalisation on firm performance and the labour market, focusing on the case of Japan. Internationalised firms show better performance. Although offshoring has shifted labour demand towards skilled workers, thedirect contribution of globalisation to the widening wage gap is quite limited. The empirical evidence for Japan is more or less consistent with that for other developed countries, but some observations on Japan are worth pointing out. First, several empirical studies confirm a learning-by-exporting effect. Second, there is no strong evidence that increases in imports from China have reduced domestic employment. Increases in imports from China have a positive effect on value added growth in downstream industries, implying that imports from China are likely to be complementary to domestic production in Japan.
  • Topic: Globalization, Industrial Policy, Labor Issues, Exports, Imports
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia
  • Author: David Kelly
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The debate about China’s changing role in global affairs is often framed as a dichotomous choice between a peacefully rising China that seeks to be a constructive stakeholder and an increasingly dangerous China that is challenging the status quo, both in terms of its norms and the place of the United States. The reality is more complicated. There are not only signs of both elements, but the foundations shaping Chinese behavior is multifold. Most international relations scholars examine China through one or another version of realism or liberalism. David Kelly, head of research at China Policy, offers an alternative approach that examines the nature of Chinese identity, or rather, Chinese identities, plural, and how they exhibit themselves in Chinese foreign policy. Using his renowned skills in reading Chinese-language official documents and the broader commentary, Kelly teases out seven narratives that Chinese tell themselves and the world, and he provides a codebook for explicating shifting Chinese behavior in different arenas. Kelly concludes that some of these narratives facilitate cooperation, but most point toward deep-seated tensions between China and the West in the years ahead.

  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Globalization, Imperialism, Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North America, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Kyong Hyun Koo, Unjung Whang
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: Over the last three decades, the world has experienced a substantial in-crease in Chinese import penetration due to the rapid improvement in Chi-na’s supply productivity, which is often called the “China shock” or “China syndrome.” The existing literature have shown that the increase in imports from China due to the China shock adversely affected the manufacturing employment of a number of advanced countries such as the U.S., Norway, Denmark, and Spain. Unlike those advanced countries, South Korea has shown a pronounced increase in exports to China as well as imports from China since the 1990s. Over the same time, furthermore, Korea’s manufactur-ing employment has shown a stagnated downward trend compared to other advanced economies and even rebounded since the mid-2000s. Given these motivations, this study investigates both import and export channels to ex-plore how the China trade shocks affected the exceptional trend in Korea’s manufacturing employment from 1993 through 2015. To capture the overall employment effects of the China shocks, specifically, we consider not only how a Korean manufacturing industry employment is affected by the change in its direct exposure to China trade shocks (direct effects), but also how other industries’ changes in exposure to China trade shocks affect the industry through domestic industrial linkages (indirect ef-fects), largely following the empirical approach employed by Acemoglu et al. (2016). Mainly using firm-level data for almost all Korean manufacturing firms with more than four employees and the 2SLS estimation method, we find that during the period 1993-2015 the increase in Chinese import expo-sure had statistically insignificant direct effects on Korea’s manufacturing em-ployment on average, while 1% point increase in Chinese export exposure directly caused 0.18% increase in employment across Korean manufacturing industries. For the indirect effects of China shocks, in contrast, 1% point in-crease in Chinese import exposures of downstream industries (intermediate goods buyers) led to 3.00% decrease in employment of upstream industries (intermediate goods sellers) on average, while 1% point increase in Chinese export exposures of downstream industries brought 1.70% increase in em-ployment of upstream industries on average. The relatively moderate direct effects compared to the indirect ones are partly explained by two factors: First, Korea has gone through a substantial change in the structure of its trade with China since 2000s, so that within-industry supply chains between China and Korea have become more intertwined for some industries. Second, the Korean industries whose main downstream industries were substantially exposed to the Chinese imports (exports) tended to have a relatively low di-rect Chinese import (export) exposure during the period 1993-2015. Based on the 2SLS estimates above, the increased Chinese import expo-sure turns out to have decreased Korea manufacturing employment by 1,210,000 during the period 1993-2015, mainly through the indirect channel. In contrast, the increased Chinese export exposure appears to have increased Korea manufacturing employment by 1,090,000 during the same period, through the direct channel (210,000) and indirect channel (880,000). In the case of Korea’s manufacturing industry, therefore, most of the job reduction attributable to the China shocks has been also offset by job creation caused by the China shocks. Such a considerable increase in manufacturing jobs due to the rise of China, which has not been reported yet in other advanced economies, appear to have played an important role in generating the re-bounding trend in Korea’s manufacturing employment.
  • Topic: Globalization, Labor Issues, Economic Policy, Trade Shocks
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Meia Nouwens, Helena Legarda
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Chinese private security companies are going global to protect the country's assets and citizens, in the sometimes unstable countries linked to Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative. Following the build-up of infrastructure and investment projects along China’s extensive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), private security companies from China are also increasingly going global – to protect Chinese assets and the growing number of Chinese nationals living and working in countries along the BRI, in sometimes unstable regions. Out of the 5,000 registered Chinese private security companies, 20 provide international services, employing 3,200 security personnel in countries like Iraq, Sudan and Pakistan. The impact of this newly developing Chinese activity abroad is analyzed in this MERICS China Monitor. Chinese private security companies’ international activities pose a challenge to European interests as they are often largely unregulated and their security staff are often inexperienced in dealing with serious conflict situations and combat. EU policymakers, thus, are called upon to encourage and assist Beijing to pass laws regulating Chinese private security companies’ activities overseas.
  • Topic: Security, Globalization, European Union, Private Sector
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Alessandro Arduino
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS)
  • Abstract: The unprecedented amount of Chinese funds funnelled into the Belt and Road Initiative and Beijing’s vision of global connectivity will face a harsh reality that encompasses a wide spectrum of threats. Chinese corporations have just started to acknowledge that the risks associated with outbound foreign direct investments carry higher failure rates due to intertwined factors such as economic crisis, conflict, civil unrest, nationalisation, and currency devaluation, to name a few. In several cases, the Chinese state-owned enterprises’ infrastructural projects add stress to the already unstable socio-political environments because of their size and speed of implementation. Understanding and managing this stress is a challenge that cannot be ignored if benefits of these projects are to be realised. The solution to political and criminal violence requests a broader participation that encompasses the insurance and private security sectors.
  • Topic: Globalization, Nationalism, Conflict, Violence, Private Sector
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Luke Patey, Michal Meidan
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The size and sophistication of Chinese foreign investment is on the rise. In 2014, inbound investment to China was outpaced by outbound investment for the first time. Chinese foreign investment has surpassed the $100 billion mark for the past three years, making China the third largest overseas investor. At the same time, beyond oil and gas, which dominated headlines over the past decade, Chinese state-owned enterprises and private corporations are making multi-billion dollar investments in construction, telecommunications, nuclear, and high-tech across the globe. What political and security implications do these new investment have for host government in North America and Europe? What is the view point of Beijing towards the growing reach of its corporations overseas? A new policy brief by Michal Meidan, research associate at Chatham House and Asia Analyst at Energy Aspects, and DIIS senior researcher Luke Patey explores these questions.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: I have been asked to help set the stage for this conference by looking at the broader issues that can address the issue of A World with No Axis? International Shifts and their Impact on the Gulf. I have spent enough time in the Gulf over the years to know how often people have strong opinions, interesting conspiracy theories, and a tendency to ignore hard numbers and facts. We all suffer from the same problems , but today I'm going to focus as much on facts and numbers as possible.
  • Topic: Globalization, Bilateral Relations, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Dieter Ernst
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: China's new strategy to upgrade its semiconductor industry (outlined in the "Guidelines to Promote National Integrated Circuit Industry Development," June 24, 2014), seeks to move from catching-up to forging ahead in semiconductors, by strengthening simultaneously China's integrated circuit (IC) design industry and domestic IC foundry services.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Industrial Policy, Markets, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: China, Asia