Tuesday, August 5, 2014

4th Global International Studies Conference - 6 – 9 August 2014 Goethe University (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)

4th Global International Studies Conference - 6 – 9 August 2014 Goethe University (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)
WA02: China in Global Politics  

Time: Wednesday, 06/Aug/2014: 2:00pm - 3:45pm  
Session Chair: Monika Krukowska, Warsaw School of Economics 
Discussant: Jeffrey Henderson, University of Bristol
Sociological Analysis of Chinese Foreign Policy in the Middle East: Chinese Characteristics of Neoliberalism and Foreign Policy
Tugrul Keskin, Christian Braun
Portland State University, United States of America; tugrulkeskin (at) pdx.edu

China’s involvement in the Middle East is hardly a new phenomenon. It can rather be traced back to the 9th century and the time of the Silk Road. Before the start of the new millennium, China’s interest in the Middle East was limited. The beginning of the 21st century, however, has seen an unprecedented extension of Chinese influence in the Middle East. Starting with the adoption of the “going out” strategy in 2001, China has dramatically increased its footprint in the region. Focusing on foreign investments, construction projects, and the development of natural resources, China has become a major player in the Middle East. Its influence today goes beyond economics, also incorporating diplomacy and soft power. The Chinese approach of focusing on commerce and keeping a low profile constitutes a remarkable contrast to the dominant foreign power in the region, the United States. Unlike U.S. policies, China’s foreign policy rejects the interference in domestic affairs of other states and the projection of military force. As a consequence, considering the various U.S. military entanglements in the region, an increased Chinese role in the Middle East is welcomed by most of the region’s governments. It is fair to argue that China’s profile and influence in the region is increasing at the same time that U.S. influence is in decline.This paper examines the growing role of China as a soft power in the Middle East following Deng Xiaoping’s policies to liberalize the Chinese economy in 1978. As a result of the neoliberal trend in China, more than 350 million new members of the middle class emerged; by 2020, this number will increase to 500 million according to the World Bank. The emergence of a large middle class in China created additional energy and security needs for the Chinese Neoliberal state and society. Therefore, in this paper, we will examine how the political economy has shaped and restructured Chinese’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East. Unlike Chinese Foreign Policy in Africa, the Middle East is considered a backyard of the American empire; therefore, the Chinese have moved quietly and gradually into the Middle Eastern market to obtain a greater share of oil and energy resources, unlike more aggressive strategy in Africa.  In this paper, we will review this gradual change of Chinese foreign policy in the Middle East based on their needs for additional energy resources for the emerging middle class in China.

Does Chinese Engagement In Africa Boost Continent’s Integration?
Ewelina Róża Lubieniecka1,2
1University of Warsaw, Poland; 2Xiamen University, China; ewelinalubieniecka (at) gmail.com
The purpose of this paper is to review the possible benefits and challenges of Chinese engagement in Africa in terms of the continent’s integration. Benefits of integration of Africa seems to be obvious: it would result in higher credibility, coordination of trade (and other) policies, higher possibility of conflict prevention and increased investment (thanks to lower distortions and bigger markets which would enable economics of scale), so therefore to increased global competitiveness. Taking into consideration that there are 15 landlocked countries in Africa, further integration (within RECs, NEPAD and African Union) should be considered as important for providing e.g., energy and water supply security for continent. China is already contributing to regional integration through the development of infrastructure. Nevertheless Sino-African relations have another institutional framework: Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. Does this multiplicity of organizations with overlapping memberships contribute to the practical achievements of regional integration or the opposite? Does Chinese engagement encourage African countries to speak with one voice in order to be stronger during negotiations? Chinese model of cooperation described by Joshua Ramo as ‘Beijing consensus’ differs from Western model, referred as Washington consensus. Does Beijing consensus provide better opportunities for integration?

Chinese Soft Power in Africa. The Changing Status of PRC in the Continent.
Monika Krukowska
Warsaw School of Economics, Poland; monika_krukowska (at) wp.pl
Regardless the world financial crisis, African countries keep the fast rate of economic development. Within the last decades the People's Republic of China (China) has become Africa's major trade and economic partner. China’s outstanding economic development, followed by its growing political importance, has given Beijing new and powerful - though less visible - instruments to exert pressure on African countries. Soft power capabilities such as culture, education, diplomatic power turned out to be efficient and helpful tools in implementing Beijing’s foreign policy and economic goals. Thanks to its growing engagement, China has turned from an insignificant partner, uncomparable to Western democracies, to an important player with significant outlook for the future. However China still has a long way ahead to become a real soft power holder and make full use of its capabilities.

China's Foreign Policy: Increasing bargaining Power by decreasing commitment in North Korea-China Relationship
Korea University, Korea, Republic of (South Korea); mwlohs (at) naver.com
U.S calls for China play a pivotal role to solve the North Korea nuclear issue. How can China increase its bargaining power in North Korea-China relationship? Glenn H. Snyder explains that the dependence, commitment and interest can affect bargaining power in alliance. According to his theory, the lesser a state commit to the alliance the greater bargaining power it gets. During the 1st nuclear crisis, U.S and South Korea requested China to cooperate with them for the settlement but China was reluctant and passive to engage. As a result, the bargaining power of China became greater in the 2nd crisis. China’s enlarged bargaining power influenced the settlement of the 2nd nuclear crisis. China could wield its leverage to make North Korea respond to its demand and offer. However, its commitment led to decrease the bargaining power at nuclear tests in 2005, 2006. From its past experience, North Korea realized that China would not loosen its commitment. This is why China lost its part as a host of six-party talks during U.S and North Korea came to the ‘2007 Agreement’. Therefore, being bystander can be better option for China to maximize its bargaining power unlike U.S.