Jonathan Holslag On world order and disorder

Unequal partnerships and open doors: probing China’s economic ambitions in Asia

One of the most important arguments with which China has sought to develop amicable relations with its neighbours has been the promise of economic benefits. Yet, this paper argues, these gains have remained limited. In spite of limited available data, the paper shows that China’s contribution to the rest of Asia’s GDP has been small and for most neighbours negative. Moreover, China is increasingly impelling those countries into partnerships that look unequal rather than equal. While Beijing has tried to mitigate frustration by promising to rebalance its economy and to create more export opportunities, the paper goes on to reveal that China is in fact readying itself to make another major push for exports itself and to pursue its own open-door policy. (Read)