Thu, 6 March 2014
In the past 30 years, China has been transformed from an impoverished country where peasants comprised the largest portion of the populace to an economic power with an expanding middle class and more megacities than anywhere else on earth. This remarkable transformation has required, and will continue to demand, massive quantities of resources. Like every other major power in modern history, China is looking outward to find them. Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael Levi will explore the unrivaled expansion of the Chinese economy and the global effects of its meteoric growth. China is now engaged in a far-flung quest, hunting around the world for fuel, ores, water and land for farming, and deploying whatever it needs in the economic, political and military spheres to secure the resources it requires. Chinese traders and investors buy commodities, with consequences for economies, people and the environment around the world. Meanwhile the Chinese military aspires to secure sea lanes, and Chinese diplomats struggle to protect the country's interests abroad. And just as surely as China's pursuit of natural resources is changing the world—restructuring markets, pushing up commodity prices, transforming resource-rich economies through investment and trade—it is also changing China itself. As Chinese corporations increasingly venture abroad, they must navigate various political regimes, participate in international markets and adopt foreign standards and practices, which can lead to wide-reaching social and political ramifications at home.