Critically analyze China’s evolving geopolitical role and its participation in the WTO.China’s evolving Geopolitical Role:Introduction:In terms of geopolitics, it was been observed that China is among the three great powers, beside the United States and the European Union. According to O. Tuathail, 1996; Agnew, 2009, critical geopolitics intends to understand world politics in terms of the ways in which elites and publics actively construct the spaces of political action that are then the medium for the policies of states and other factors. At its current rate of economic growth, China, though still considered a developing country as it’s GDP per capita is still far lower than the world average (Fig.
1), is climbing up the latter in terms of economic strength and according to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao: ”China will Keep its door open forever!”About corruption:According to the Corruption Index of the Guardian, 2012, China was ranked as the 80th least corrupt country, with a Corruption Perceptions Index score of 39. Since 2008, China has experienced a fall of 10 places and ranks even lower to e.g. New Zealand, with a CPI score of 90. China is involved in one specific type of corruption, which, according to Wedeman, 2012 is predatory corruption. Predatory corruption helps forge political machines and often provides incentive for economic growth.
Although suitable for China, it is difficult to say whether or not China’s corruption can be considered as an economic pillage, as its economy grew for decades while, at the same time, corruption was becoming more intensified. Ting Gong (2012). One of the greatest challenges in fighting China’s corruption, which has the potential to undermine the Communist Party, is to check for it within the society, especially when Chinese politicians claim that “to get rich is glorious” Deng Xiaoping, 1984.An article in The Economist, 2012 emphasizes the corruption in China. After the publishing of a well-researched article in the New York Times, claiming the family of Wen Jiabao had combined assets worth 2.7 billion, Chinese authorities blocked the online edition immediately. Furthermore, China is being suspected of selling $200 million worth of sophisticated arms to Qaddafi during the Beijing meeting in mid-July 2011.
These weapons include portable surface-to-air missiles similar to the American-made Stinger that potentially could bring down certain military aircraft. (Nytimes, 2011) However a ministry spokeswoman denied that Chinese government officials knew of the talks, and said that no arms were delivered to the Qaddafi regime, either directly or through third parties. Chinese companies have not signed any military or trade contracts with Libya, let alone provided military exports to Libya. Jiang Yu, 2011.Dispute with China and islands.
Could that result in a war?It seems as if China is using its rapid growth, especially in the military, as a motive to present its strong stance to its neighboring islands aggressively. The conflict with Japan seems to be intensifying as time goes by, to the point where shooting may occur. The turmoil with Japan started on February 5th, when the Japanese government claimed that six days earlier a Chinese warship had beamed “fire-control” radar at a destroyer belonging to Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force some 3 kilometers away, a step towards shooting a missile at it. (The Economist, 2013) Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the parliament the next day that “It was a unilateral, provocative act and extremely regrettable, Shinzo Abe, 2013. At this stage, armed conflict seems improbably, however not impossible, especially with growing tensions.
China has the largest army in the world, should we be worried?It is obvious that China can be a great threat to world peace if push came to shove. With the largest army in the world and ever growing economic influence in Asia, other countries are looking for partners. For instance, the US is looking to pair with Japan and India, as these countries compete economically with China regionally as well as globally. “While Japan and the US have remained close partners since the end of World War II, the US has recently made increasingly strong gestures of crafting a political-military partnership with India. This is best illustrated by the signing of a civilian nuclear-power accord with New Delhi in December 2006, as well as offering, for the first time, to sell India advanced fighter jets and anti-ballistic missile defenses.
” Richard Carney and Richard A. Bitzinger for RSIS, 2007 In terms of geopolitics, Europe will probably not oppose China’s expansion and/or influence, especially since a growing military force is no direct threat to Europe and its security.On the other side, relationships between the Unites States and Japan are better than ever before and therefore Japan is willing to ally with the US and India, provided this will result in normalizing its international standing. China’s provocative attitude towards it’s neighboring islands, its recognized global stance and its unparallel military force make it a great threat to those who are against it and only time will tell whether or not there will be gunfire. One can hope that as soon as the US, India and Japan form an alliance; China will lose its aggressive approach.
China’s Participation in the WTORoughly one year ago, on he 11th December 2011, China celebrated its 10-year anniversary of being part of the World Trade Organization. It took 15 years of struggle, however, after the US and China signed a trade deal in 1999, things started to look promising. Looking back, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said that: “If we describe the Canton Fair as a window China opened to the world, then the accession to the WTO can be seen as a door China opened to the world. If we describe the Canton Fair as China extending a hand to the world, then its WTO membership is its full embrace of this world.
” (Wen Jiabao, 2011) After joining the WTO, China quickly experienced the benefits of being part of a global economy; its exports were more diverse, and there has been a surge in imports from all regions, especially Asia.However, there seem to be disagreements on China’s position and performance in the WTO in the future. It is being said that China’s view on the WTO’s multilateral trade system is ambiguous.
Furthermore China is blamed for being irresponsible when it comes to maintaining he international order and global economic governance. According to Rafael Leal-Arcas, 2010, China has been playing at best a passive role and, at worst, a disruptive role with respect to the global trading system. “China would be broken, and a broken China could break the WTO. Therefore, the WTO’s most difficult challenge may be to discipline trade relations among China and other WTO members.
All WTO members should work collectively to encourage China to change its behavior.” By so doing, they may promote the development of the WTO.(Susan Ariel Aaronson, 2010) Despite what critics say about China’s attitude towards and future in the WTO, it can’t be denied that China has achieved a lot from an economic and social perspective since joining. It has grown to the second largest economy in terms of GDP. (Fig.2) In addition it is the largest merchandise exporter in the world and the first destination for inward and outward Foreign Direct Investment among developing countries. China has also formed various trading partners, it being the largest trading partner of: Australia, Japan, South Korea, Russia and Brazil, to name a few. Furthermore, China has established a China WTO Notification and Inquiry Centre.
The benefits it brings to the WTO cannot be denied, however in order to avoid future warfare, it should change its attitude nevertheless.Fig.1Fig.
2References:J.A.. (2012). Corruption in China.
Available: http://www.economist.com/blogs/theworldin2013/2012/12/corruption-china. Last accessed 1st March 2013.Minyou Yu, Heng Liu. (2012). FRONTIERS OF LAW IN CHINA. CHINA’S TEN YEARS IN THE WTO: ITS PERFORMANCE AND NEW CHALLENGES.
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