China’s Approach to International Development: A Study of Southeast Asia

Neil Renwick

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Abstract

China is establishing itself as a new international aid donor. This study explains China’s emerging approach to international development assistance. The paper addresses the question of how far China’s understanding of “development” is an appropriate basis for genuinely “win-win” relationships? The paper explores this question by examining China’s relationship with Southeast Asia. China is re-emphasising its commitment and partnership credentials with neighbouring states, some of whom have many people living in poverty and as countries are in need of development assistance. The paper identifies key facets of China’s approach to international development, examines economic, political and strategic factors underpinning China’s approach in Southeast Asia. Adopting a Human Security perspective, it assesses China’s development contribution with reference to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar and highlights popular opposition. The study finds that Chinese trade and investment are making a significant contribution to the region’s economic growth. However, the analysis identifies two problems in China’s approach, an over-reliance on the level of state-to-state relations and too narrow a domain of engagement centred upon economic cooperation. China needs to incorporate a societal engagement strategy highlighting transparency and accountability of Chinese corporate behaviour. It also needs to re-balance its approach by emphasising human capital capability and capacity-building across the non-economic social and cultural domains. China’s approach to international development is a rapid learning process and is emerging, but still has further to go.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-129
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of China and International Relations
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2015

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Southeast Asia
China
development of world economy
assistance
international aid
economic cooperation
human security
Laos
Myanmar
Cambodia
human capital
transparency
learning process
opposition
economic growth
poverty
commitment
responsibility

Bibliographical note

Articles published in Journal of China and International Relation are following the license Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Keywords

  • China
  • International Development

Cite this

China’s Approach to International Development : A Study of Southeast Asia. / Renwick, Neil.

In: Journal of China and International Relations, Vol. 3, No. 1, 29.05.2015, p. 104-129.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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