Coercive Levers in Chinese Economic Statecraft: Attributed Across Earth, Rarely Apparent   [open pdf - 491KB]

From the thesis abstract: "This study considers the role of coercive lever exercise in Chinese economic statecraft. Whereas the economic statecraft literature presumes larger economic powers dominate smaller economic powers, this study considers cases in which asymmetric interdependence in specific sectors allows relatively less developed states to access coercive levers as viable policy options. It found that coercive lever exercise remains rare relative to inducements in Chinese economic statecraft consistent with evolving Chinese grand strategy and political economy trends. As demonstrated in the case studies, exercise patterns were reactionary and depended on existing conditions of asymmetric interdependence with the target state. Beijing can and will exercise coercive levers in the context of a bilateral trade dispute or during select high-stakes international crises, but only to an extent that exercise supports achievement of limited political objectives such as signaling resolve, amplifying official protest, or altering short-term behavior in the target state. Though reluctant to exercise coercive levers, China's capabilities are evolving and it is becoming a more confident practitioner that selects among an increasingly sophisticated range of policy options in economic statecraft. As China continues to deepen integration with the global economy, coercive levers derived from asymmetric interdependence will likely proliferate."

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