By All Means Necessary: How China's Resource Quest is Changing the World

By All Means Necessary: How China's Resource Quest is Changing the World

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 0190229225

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In the past thirty years, China has 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.

In By All Means Necessary, Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael Levi 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.

Clear, authoritative, and provocative, By All Means Necessary is a sweeping account of where China's pursuit of raw materials may take the country in the coming years and what the consequences will be--not just for China, but for the whole world.

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China in many agricultural commodities markets declining in the coming years (with soybeans the most notable exception) as demand from other countries rises.33 Pressures on global food prices are also moderated by the powerful Chinese desire to be self-sufficient in most raw agricultural materials. This creates an incentive for the Chinese government to take steps that help domestic supplies rise in order to match growth in domestic demand. Such efforts stretch back centuries. More recently, in

minerals and energy imports. What if China succeeds in rebalancing the economy? There is broad agreement that greater consumption-led growth would have limited impact, one way or the other, on food demand, particularly within the context of much broader growth in global food demand. There is less agreement for minerals and energy. Some experts argue that China is on the verge of a significant rebalancing, with large consequences for energy and particularly minerals markets. A team at the U.S.

purchase), the Canadian government rejected the takeover bid. Announcing the decision, the government declared it was not clear that the takeover would create a net benefit for Canada. Though legal experts generally agreed that the government was required to explain its decision at greater length, it did not.57 This, along with the political context, made it difficult to discern any precedent from the episode. The scrutiny raised in response to the CNOOC bid for Nexen thus came as a surprise to

safeguarding ships in general, including participant countries’ own vessels only incidentally. Recent Chinese media reports reinforce the idea that China’s counter-piracy activities are directly related to the number and frequency of pirate attacks on Chinese ships. For example, in 2010, China Daily reported that China was increasing its counter-piracy activities after “a series of pirate attacks on Chinese ships in the past two weeks.”30 The focus on Chinese ships does not mean, however, that

United States or another foreign power. But the Chinese track record in these more purely strategic (rather than also commercial) efforts has been mixed. Chinese strategists have talked in particular about four areas: pipelines from Russia, a pipeline through Burma, one traversing Thailand, and a pipeline through Pakistan. Only the first two have been successful so far. The East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline carries oil from Siberia to Chinese refineries in Daqing and Fushun.44 The

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