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N. 38 - Febbraio 2011 (LXIX)

projecting economic power
THE China factor

di Marco Siddi


During the past three decades China has experienced fast and steady economic growth based on capital accumulation, increase in employment, high levels of investment and a considerable shift of resources from agriculture into industry and the tertiary sector.


According to economists David Miles and Andrew Scott, China has embarked on the same growth pattern as some Southeast Asian nations thirty years ago, notably South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The growth of these nations has not substantially affected the world's economy, as they remained relatively small economies due to the size of their population and markets. The same cannot be said of China, with its enormous population of 1.3 billion: its economic growth has had and will have a deep impact on the world economy and on the geopolitical balance.


In 2008 China's gross domestic product (GDP) in purchasing power parity terms was $ 7,992 trillion; only US GDP ($ 14,440 trillion) and the aggregate GDP of the European Union's member states ($ 14,940 trillion) were larger. Despite the recent economic and financial crisis, China's GDP growth has remained large and positive, moving from 11.4% in 2007, to 9% in 2008 and an estimated 8% in 2009. In 2009 economic growth was faster in industry (7.5%) and the tertiary sector (8.8%). China is the state with the largest positive current account balance ($ 426.1 billion in 2008) and the largest reserves of foreign currencies and gold ($ 1.955 trillion). The huge money inflow generated by foreign direct investment, which rose to nearly $ 84 billion in 2007, has contributed to the quick growth of the Chinese economy. The existence of a large and cheap labour reserve, a vast consumer market and the absence of independent trade unions have attracted numerous international companies. The latter no longer transfer only their production units, but also their research and development departments, which results in an increasing technology spillover to China.


China's economic growth entails numerous problems of various nature. The environmental impact has been enormous and constitutes one of the major future challenges for the Chinese leaders. Furthermore, China's export surplus has already created several commercial conflicts with other states, in particular with developed western economies, which may result in new forms of protectionism in the near future. Most importantly, the Chinese economy is heavily reliant on overseas energy resources. Beijing is currently the second world's importer of oil. In order to attain energy security, China has taken several military measures to control transport routes in the Indian Ocean and in the Western Pacific, and is likely to increase its military presence in the area in the next decades. This has inevitably led to increasing tensions with other regional powers, such as India and Japan, and with the United States and its allies in South-East Asia. The presence of frozen conflicts in the area, such as those concerning Taiwan, the Spratly and Senkaku Islands, and the expectation that China will attempt to acquire a geostrategic role commensurate to its economic weight further complicate the political scenario.


Strategic policy and frozen conflicts


In order to consolidate its economic and strategic position in East Asia, China will have to undertake two essential steps. Firstly, China will have to assert its control over the maritime area in the South and East China Sea which it considers as its own Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Achieving control over this area will not be easy, as it would affect the interests of most of China's regional neighbours and would require tackling the complex Taiwan question. Secondly, once China will have solved the issues concerning its EEZ, it will have to secure its energy transport routes in the Indian Ocean and southern Asia.


Achieving dominance over the South China Sea would be important for the exploitation of its economic resources (mainly fishing, oil and gas) and, above all, because it would guarantee access to the high seas for the Chinese fleet. China has already taken military action in the past in order to attain this objective. In 1974, following the defeat of South Vietnam, China occupied the Paracel Islands; in 1988, it conquered the Fiery Cross Reef, not far from the Spratly Archipelago. Sovereignty over the latter is claimed by China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei. In the East China Sea, Beijing has claimed sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands, an archipelago controlled by Japan and located west of Okinawa and north-east of Taiwan. In January 2008, the Taiwanese government lamented an increasing number of operations of the Chinese fleet in the Bashi Corridor, between Taiwan and the Philippines. Taipei's worries are substantiated by Beijing's desire to recover sovereignty over Taiwan itself in the near future. Control over the Bashi Corridor would grant China access to the high seas and would enable its fleet to challenge US control over the western Pacific, which is currently patrolled by the Seventh US fleet based in Guam.


After securing its position in the China Sea, Beijing could move to its next fundamental strategic objective, namely securing its energy transport routes from Africa and the Middle East. The Malacca Strait is the main bottleneck in this transport system, as 80% of China's oil imports depend on this route. Beijing has attempted to overcome this problem by diversifying its access to the Indian Ocean, for instance by preparing plans for the construction of an oil pipeline between the Chinese city of Kunming and the Burmese port of Sittwe, as well as a railway linking the cities of Chanthaburi in Thailand and Dawei in Burma. China is also contributing to the development of offshore fields of liquid natural gas in South-East Asia and to a project concerning the construction of a navigable canal in the Kra Isthmus. Furthermore, Beijing has started the construction of permanent bases along its transport routes in the Indian Ocean, notably in the Cocos Islands in Burma, Chittagong in Bangladesh, Marao in the Maldives and Gwadar in Pakistan. The future construction of another base on the East African coast, which is becoming more and more open to Chinese investments, is only a matter of time.


However, the strategy of building bases along the coast of the Indian Ocean has alienated India, the major regional power in the area. Increasing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean and Chinese sales of weapons to Pakistan have led the Indian government to launch a rearmament programme including the construction and purchase of three aircraft carriers. Furthermore, the construction of bases alone will not suffice to secure energy transport routes in case of conflict. In order to achieve this objective, China must build a high seas fleet with modern submarines and aircraft carriers. Several steps have already been taken in this respect. For instance, modern frigates have been developed since 2006 and a large underground submarine base was built on the Hainan island. However, the key factor in terms of sea power is the development of an aircraft carrier programme. China needs at least three aircraft carriers to escort the convoys of its oil tankers and freighters between its own coast and the African coast. In 1998 China bought the Soviet aircraft carrier Varyag from Ukraine. According to the US Office of Naval Intelligence, the Varyag will be ready for a training programme by 2012 and will become fully operational around 2015. In addition, China would need adequate support ships equipped with air defence systems, cruisers and submarines capable of long-range operations. These modern armaments will be indispensable in order to fully achieve great power status, which, according to Russel Ong, is the ultimate goal for Chinese security planners in the twenty-first century.


The drive to great power status: peaceful coexistence or “China Threat Theory”?


Russel Ong claims that China's current military expansion has little to do with any current military threats, but stems from 'a century of humiliation' by the Western powers and the desire to become a great power in world politics. China's independence was violated in the past and Beijing is determined to ensure that this will never happen again. According to official Chinese statements, China's foreign policy is based on peace, independence and the principle of peaceful coexistence. China is committed to a multipolar world and actively participates in world and regional international organizations, including the United Nations Organization (where China is a permanent member of the Security Council), the World Trade Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Council for Security and Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP). In addition, China has ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and numerous other treaties concerning arms control.


Chinese leaders state that they will not seek world hegemony. However, some Western observers speculate that China is merely buying time to consolidate its economic base and will soon attempt to turn the Asian continent into a Chinese sphere of influence. As Paul Kennedy argues, since military power stems from economic power, economic growth will enhance China military power projection in the region. The People's Republic of China used military force in major confrontations in the past (for instance during the Korean War, the border war against the Soviet Union in 1969 and the war against Vietnam in 1979) and will continue to do so in the future. This realist analysis of Chinese foreign policy gave rise to the “China Threat Theory”. Chinese leaders claim that the “China Threat Theory” is an unintended consequence of China's search for comprehensive security. Some Chinese analysts believe that there is a foreign attempt to line up the West to fight an imaginary enemy and that after the collapse of the Soviet Union China has taken up the role of the West's main imaginary enemy. Samuel Huntington's theory of the “clash of civilizations”, which predicts a neo-Confucianism ideological challenge to the West, is a manifestation of this attempt.


China's statements in support of the principle of peaceful coexistence are sincere. However, it is debatable whether this is a long-term policy or if it is rather a strategy to build up economic and military power. On the one hand, Beijing considers the United States as its most important strategic and economic partner. On the other hand, however, it believes that Washington is planning to contain, encircle and isolate China. According to Russel Ong, China wants to emulate Japan's rise in Asia. The end of the Cold War has provided a relatively peaceful environment for China to reformulate its military strategy and modernize its weapons. For instance, in 1999 China successfully tested the road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Dongfeng-31, which gives Beijing a major strike capability immune from a pre-emptive takeout and threatens US forces both in the Pacific theatre and in North America. Western analysts speculate that China is currently developing another generation of ICBMs, known as Dongfeng-41, with an even greater range and capable of delivering up to ten independently targeted warheads. According to Richard Fisher, China is most likely developing an anti-ballistic missile system which could be deployed after 2020. Furthermore, programs for the construction of fifth-generation combat jets, large amphibious assault ships and large airlifters are under way. China's nuclear and conventional rearmament and the prospect of US political retrenchment from South-East Asia has aroused fear among US allies in East Asia and has led to an arms build-up in the region. However, China has also ratified the NPT and the CTBT and declares that its nuclear weapons are solely for self-defence.


After the US military interventions in the Kosovo crisis (1999), Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003), Chinese diplomacy multiplied its efforts to establish new political alliances and counter growing US activism in Eurasia. In 2001 the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was founded by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan; India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan were granted the status of observers. The objectives of the organization include security, economic and cultural cooperation, fighting terrorism and securing energy supplies. However, Western analysts such as Richard Fisher believe that the main aim of the SCO is excluding the United States from Central Asia and making the region 'safe for authoritarian government'. The SCO Charter declares the members's opposition to terrorism, separatism and extremism. However, “extremism” is often interpreted to mean both Islamic radicalism and democracy. The main accomplishments of the SCO have been in the area of military cooperation: in 2005 the first major military exercise between Russia and China was held in the Shandong Peninsula and in August 2007 all six SCO members took part in a second military exercise in Russia.


Furthermore, China has been very active in the field of multilateral negotiations concerning present conflicts.


Beijing has played a decisive role in the 6-Party Talks regarding the North Korean nuclear programme and in recent negotiations with the Sudanese government. China's role has been strengthened by its soft power, notably its economic influence, which is extending more and more on a global level. Diplomatic and economic contacts with Africa and Latin America have intensified; China imports raw materials and exports technology and its surplus manufactured products. In Congo the China Railway Engineering Corporation and the Synohydro Corporation are building or repairing 3,000 kilometres of roads and railways, thirty-five hospitals, 145 health care centres, four universities and 50,000 houses. In exchange, the Congolese government promised to deliver ten million tons of copper, 200,000 tons of cobalt and 372 tons of gold. China's companies started to invest even in Afghanistan, where the China Metallurgical Construction Corporation bought the copper mine in Aynak,     which is the world's second largest copper mine and is located in a province currently under Taliban control. Furthermore, China committed itself to building an electric power station, a foundry, a railway line between Aynak and Tajikistan, houses and health care centres.


Present and future challenges


Despite its impressive economic growth, military build-up and significant diplomatic efforts, in the near future China will have to cope with several major challenges from within and without. The major challenges from within consist in making the rapid economic growth environmentally sustainable and finding an acceptable modus vivendi with ethnic minorities, in particular those living in western China. The major challenge from without is represented by the task of acquiring world power status without undermining global peace and stability.


The Tibetans and the Uyghurs, living respectively in the autonomous regions of Tibet and Xinjiang, are the ethnic minorities that cause major concerns in Beijing. Approximately 2.6 million Tibetans live in a vast area of 1,228,400 km², which was occupied by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in 1950-1951. Tibetan revolts were particularly violent until the 1970s and have continued thereafter, mostly under the leadership of Tibetan monks, who demand real autonomy and minority rights for Tibet. China's response involved both harsh repression and encouraging the transfer of ethnic Han Chinese to Tibet, also through the inauguration of the railway line Lhasa-Beijing in July 2006. Although the prospect of Tibet's secession seems highly impracticable, the Tibetan question is and will remain a thorny issue for Beijing, as was witnessed by the large scale protests against the violation of human rights in the region during the Olympic games in China in August 2008.


Violent ethnic conflicts in the Xinjiang region have erupted again in July 2009, resulting in 197 dead and 1,684 wounded according to official data. 45.6% of the local population is made up by Uyghurs, a moslem Turkic ethnic group living in Central and Eastern Asia, 40.6% are ethnic Han Chinese and 6.7% are Kazakhs. The Uyghur population laments the lack of minority rights and the increasing influence of the Hans. The Uyghur language has the status of secondary language, while the study of Chinese became compulsory also in primary schools in 2003. Most Uyghurs do not speak Chinese, which constitutes a major obstacle to their aspirations to work in companies led by ethnic Chinese. Separatist movements have emerged in the areas inhabited by the Uyghurs, notably the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which is probably linked to Al-Qaeda. Moreover, the relatively recent independence of the former Turkic Soviet Republics in Central Asia, just across the border of the Xinjiang region, has aroused expectations of emancipation among the Uyghurs too. Most Uyghurs do not demand independence, but only the respect of their own identity and more social justice. During the next years, China will have to cope with these requests if it wants to stabilize a region whose strategic importance has grown considerably: oil and natural gas imports from Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan transit through the Xinjiang before reaching the metropolises in eastern China.


The environmental impact of China's economic and demographic growth constitutes the second major internal challenge which China has to face now and in the years to come. Two thirds of the huge Chinese population lives in eastern China, where natural resources have been put under considerable stress. If Chinese per capita consumption of meat and cereals was to reach US levels, China would demand 67% of the world's production of cereals and 76% of the world's meat production. Today China uses up 40% of the world's production of coal, 25% of the world's steel and nickel production and 19% of the world's aluminum production; furthermore, it is the second largest consumer of oil after the United States. Pollution and water scarcity have become serious problems in the urban areas of eastern China. 60 of the main 560 rivers in China have dried up or are about to do so. According to the estimates of experts, the vital Chinese rivers Huang He and Yangtze Kiang will dry up before reaching the sea in a few years. This is the result of both increased water demand in the densely populated areas and the melting of Himalaya and Tibet glaciers. Due to the wild deforestation along China's rivers, the risk of floods and desertification has increased enormously in Manchuria and in the Guizhou and Xinjiang provinces. The desert expands by 2,500 km² per year and is already threatening the large conurbations in north-eastern China. Officials of the Chinese government have calculated that the environmental cost of growth in 2005 amounted to 10% of the GDP, which roughly corresponds to the annual growth rate of China. As a consequence, the government's concerns about the environment have grown. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has declared that China must become an environment- and resource-friendly society. China's production of renewable energies such as solar and wind energy is constantly on the rise, but greater efforts are needed to achieve the aim declared by Prime Minister Jiabao.


In addition to these urgent domestic issues, China will have to deal with the global implications of its rise to great power status and with the challenges coming from abroad. The main ideological challenge is probably the one posed by democracy and human rights, which question the legitimacy of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and of its methods of government. These values may become widespread also in China and undermine the power of the approximately 300 members of the Central Committee of the CCP who ultimately rule the country. However, excessive foreign insistence on democratic values and human rights may also have the opposite effect of rallying the Chinese population behind its government. This happened, for instance, in April and May 2008, when Chinese at home and abroad showed resentful and sometimes threatening nationalist anger in response to Western protests against China's policy in Tibet and Sudan.


Furthermore, the present power position of the CCP depends on the loyal support of the 2.25 million members of the PLA, the 1.5 million People's Armed Police and the 800,000 other internal security forces which enforce the CCP's political dictatorship. Due to the important role played by the PLA in Chinese society and politics, there is a risk that the army will make pressure to tackle unresolved disputes by using military force abroad too. The Taiwan issue might provide the first occasion for the PLA to flex its muscles. Chinese leaders often declare that Taiwan is an integral part of China and that reunification with Taiwan is a “sacred mission” for the Chinese people. In addition, Taiwan's east coast offers immediate access to deep-water patrol areas for nuclear ballistic submarines. Missiles and bombers stationed in Taiwan would be much closer to US forces in Guam and much better placed to monitor and interdict Japanese and US forces based in Japan. Until now, the PLA and the CCP have been deterred from undertaking military action against Taiwan by the high costs that such an operation would entail, notably the high possibility of war with the United States and the subsequent loss of an essential economic partner. Meanwhile, however, China's military strength in the Taiwan Strait is growing. Simultaneously, China is pursuing a multifaceted strategy combining political, economic, cultural and psychological elements to prevent Taiwan from declaring de jure independence and then maneuver Taipei into accepting unification with China in the long run. Beijing has encouraged Taiwanese investment in China and tolerated a large Taiwanese trade surplus to build supporters in Taiwan's business community. It has tried to split Taiwan's politicians by appealing to the Kuomintang Party and refusing to talk to the Democratic Progressive Party. Moreover, it has promised that Taiwan's economic, social and military system will not change after reunification. These promises referred to the event of a peaceful reunification. According to Richard Fisher, if reunification was to be achieved forcefully, a harsh occupation featuring massive political purges, refugee flows and comprehensive national reeducation campaigns would take place and Taiwan would be turned into a base for PLA forces.


The Taiwan issue is not the only source of friction with the United States. China's dubious role in the nuclear proliferation of Iran, North Korea and Pakistan contributed to sour relations with Washington. The PLA has given consistent and strong support to North Korea, which serves to create a proxy threat against Japan and to keep Koreans divided. In the 1990s China provided engineering training and material to help Pyongyang develop the Taepodong intermediate-range ballistic missile. In addition, Beijing consistently opposed US efforts to impose UN sanctions on North Korea, which repeatedly banned international inspectors from its nuclear facilities, thereby acting in contravention to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). China's actions in the Six-Party Talks after 2004 have not produced any significant results and could be seen as an attempt to give North Korea vital time to build up its nuclear arsenal. Furthermore, China helped Pakistan to develop nuclear capability, which both created a nuclear proxy against a common enemy, India, and gave Beijing great prestige in the larger Sunni world. China has also been indispensable to Iran's nuclear ambitions. In 2006 China prevented strong action in the UN Security Council against Iran's violation of the NPT. Meanwhile, China has become Iran's largest trading partner and receives an increasing amount of Iran's petroleum resources. Beijing's support of and sales of weapons to Iran is having wider implications in the Middle East, as Teheran is providing Chinese-made weapons to Syria and Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon. According to Richard Fisher, China is building an Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis to surround Israel and undermine US influence in the Middle East. Fisher claims that China's proliferation actions have made the highest contribution to the possibility that terrorists will possess and use nuclear weapons in the future. Furthermore, China is selling weapons and developing economic ties with US rivals, notably Sudan and Hugo Chavez's Venezuela.


Beijing has attempted to undermine US influence in the Far East by trying to drive wedges between local US allies and by strongly opposing the American anti-ballistic missile system in the region. Chinese pressure has undermined cooperation between South Korea and the United States over missile defense and reinforced South Korea's opposition to the use of US troops stationed in its territory in a future conflict over Taiwan. As a consequence of the increasing economic and diplomatic ties with Beijing, Seoul's current military modernization appears aimed as much at US ally Japan as at North Korea or China. China is using its increasing commercial impact and its ties to local ethnic Chinese communities in South-East Asia too. China's approach has been appealing compared to Washington's preoccupation with Islamic terrorism, in particular in the largely Muslim states of Malaysia and Indonesia and in the Philippines. Since the US military departure from Philippine bases in 1992, Manila does not seem as committed as Japan or Australia to be active as a US ally. Furthermore, Thailand has a long-standing close relationship with the PLA and in July 2007 it held its first joint military exercise with China. Australia is still a reliable US ally, but its growing economic ties with China make confrontation with Beijing over issues such as Taiwan a very unattractive prospect. China has already become Australia's most important market for natural gas, iron ore and other commodities. Thus, as professor Renato Cruz De Castro has noted, 'While the United States remains Southeast Asia's most important military actor, its power and influence are being gradually eroded by China's soft-power diplomacy and hard-power buildup. According to US Pacific Commander Admiral Timothy Keating, in July 2007 some Chinese officials went as far as to propose the creation of a Chinese sphere of influence in the Western Pacific, while the US would retain control over the Eastern Pacific.


US-China relations are further complicated by the lack of military transparency, the frequent interruptions in US-PLA exchanges and occasional diplomatic incidents. American requests to inspect new PLA weaponry were rebuffed until late 2006. Little is known about China's current and especially future military policies and weapon systems, as the Chinese press is not allowed to report in depth about it. Furthermore, the United States are worried about the current PLA preparations for cyberwarfare and for space warfare, which could cripple the US economy and eliminate Washington's primary means of surveillance and communication. Diplomatic crises between Washington and Beijing continue to occur when the US undertakes actions in areas which China considers of vital interest for itself. For example, in November 2007 China informed the United States that US aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk was not welcome in Hong Kong, following American military sales to Taiwan and the recent Washington DC reception of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader.


Finally, the rise of China's power in East Asia has led to tensions also with regional and global actors that are not US allies. Despite considerable improvements in the last decade, Sino-Vietnamese relations are marred by mutual suspicion and the military and diplomatic conflicts of the 1970s and 1980s. This was demonstrated, for instance, by Vietnam's skepticism when the PLA suggested joint military exercises with the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2005. Despite the recent cooperation within the SCO framework, also relations with Russia remain ambiguous. Mutual mistrust stems from historic rivalries and, most importantly, clashing economic and security interests. Parallel to the SCO, Russia founded the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which includes SCO members such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan but is tightly controlled by Moscow. China and Russia compete over Central Asia's natural resources, as was witnessed by the recent controversy over the control of Turkmeni gas. Furthermore, Russia is preoccupied by the increasing Chinese economic and demographic penetration in the underpopulated areas of eastern Siberia.




Western and Chinese observers unanimously state that China will be a superpower in the near future. Beijing's current economic power, its increasing military strength and active diplomacy are the main determinants of this assessment. However, China will also have to cope with major internal and external challenges, such as unrest among its ethnic minorities, the devastating environmental consequences of its economic and demographic expansion and tensions with other regional and global powers resulting from China's increased economic, military and diplomatic efforts. Western observers such as Robert Kagan and Bill Gertz have formulated the “China Threat Theory”, according to which China's rise will not be peaceful and will result in a Chinese hegemonic attempt, thereby constituting a serious security threat for the United States. There is little doubt that China wants to play a key role in Asia and increase its influence on a global level. However, Beijing has not unleashed any major war during the past three decades and its estimated military expenditure is still less than one-sixth of total US military budget. China's preoccupation with acquiring a nuclear deterrent and building up its land, sea and air forces might be justified by the massive presence of US forces and of other competing actors in Asia. Furthermore, China's modern history contributes to explain its security policy: the country experienced 'a century of humiliation' between 1840 and 1949 and is determined to ensure that this will never happen again.


List of abbreviations:


CCP: Chinese Communist Party

CTBT: Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty

EEZ: Exclusive Economic Zone

GDP: Gross Domestic Product

ICBM: Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

NPT: Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

PLA: People's Liberation Army

SCO: Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Printed sources:

Al-Rhodan, Khalid, 'A critique of the China Threat Theory: a systematic analysis', in Asian Perspective, Vol. 31, No. 3 (2007), pp. 41-66

Braeckman, Colette, 'Il Congo e gli amici di Pechino', Le Monde Diplomatique (September 2009)

Bulard, Martine, 'Complicità con le Repubbliche dell'Asia centrale', Le Monde Diplomatique (September 2009)

Bulard, Martine, 'La Cina alla conquista del suo Far West', Le Monde Diplomatique (September 2009)

Davison, Sarah, 'India e Cina allungano le mani sull'Afghanistan', Le Monde Diplomatique (December 2009)

'Energiepolitik: Schwerer Schlag', Der Spiegel (19 December 2009)

Fisher, Richard D., China's military modernization (2008)

Le Monde Diplomatique, Atlas der Globalisierung: der Aufstieg Asiens (2006)

Miles, David and Scott, Andrew, Macroeconomics. Understanding the wealth of nations (2005)

Ong, Russel, China's security interests in the post-Cold War era (2002)

Rühl, Lothar, 'Auf dem Weg zur Seemacht', in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (19 December 2009)

Zajec, Olivier, 'La Cina porta in mare le sue ambizioni globali', in Le Monde Diplomatique (August-September 2008)




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