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The power of China in the international cooperation

At the eighth conference on Sino-African cooperation, China promised to provide two billion doses of vaccine in order to build a 'humanitarian shield' in Africa. This is not the first time that China has supported developing countries since the start of the pandemic: on the whole, it has already donated more than 300 billion masks, 4 billion protective suits and more than 8 billion anti-vaccine test kits. At the end of December, it distributed one billion doses across the globe - 600 million of them as a donation, setting itself apart from the OECD countries. They too had promised nearly 2 billion doses, but by September only 1 in 7 has been delivered. The Chinese project is immediate and effective, but it is the outcome of a commitment that the country has been demonstrating for decades, with the aim of gaining more influence in the dialogue field of international politics.

The creation of the biggest international economical block to represent the Chinese success as en economic partner.

Since establishing diplomatic relations with Western countries, China has reached trade and cooperation agreements all over the world, thanks to which it has succeeded in establishing itself as a global economic giant. The weight of the Chinese initiative in international relations has grown exponentially over the years - let’s think about the Belt and Road Initiative, about which much has already been said. [1] [2] [3]

An important milestone is the participation in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RECP), which will be the largest trading block in the world, including 15 countries that produce 30% of GDP and represent one third of the world's population. Since the 1st January, it has entered into force in China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore and Vietnam, while ratification is pending in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand. The main effect of the agreement is the establishment of a preferential relationship in exports and investments between the member states. It is estimated that China will gain $11.2 billion in exports through the project, making it one of the main beneficiaries.

This result is not enough for China, as it would like to take part in other regional deals: the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Cptpp) - even though it came from an American initiative and its Asian neighbors to leave out China and go against its continental power - and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (Depa), born out of an initiative by Singapore, New Zealand and Chile.

The international organizations born out of a Chinese idea

China is behind the creation of two important international organizations. The first initiative was the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Established in 2014 in Beijing itself, it has 57 founding states - not only including Asian countries, but also Arab and European ones. It has been founded to go against the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank for specific reasons. All four have very similar aims: to foster the development of member states through loans from a common fund, but with a clear distinction. In the first, the United States are excluded and China provides the largest shareholding, so that can guide the direction of investment and pursue objectives of national interest.

Another project whose credit has been given to China is also the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Initially known as the Shanghai Group, it was established in 1996 with the participation of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, but was later joined by Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan and Iran. It has played an important role in mediating between culturally distant countries and pursuing objectives of economic, cultural and military security cooperation.

The climb towards global organizations

Over the years, China managed to gain the nomination in important roles within the international organizations in a variety of areas. Starting from the role of the General Secretary of the United Nations’ Organization for the industrial development (UNIDO) since 2013, in the International Union of telecommunications since 2014 and reconfirmed in 2018, to the presidency in the International electronic Commission since 2020. The main achievements are considered to be the nomination of the Chinese Qu Dongyu as the General Director of FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization - in 2019, but also the warrant of Fang Liu as the General Secretary of ICAO - International Civil Aviation Organization - from 2015 to 2021.

What about the outlooks?

The Chinese rise in the international politics as a threat to the American leadership is not a new statement, as the diary of the foreign politics of Donald Trump has proved. Beijing as an economic partner - especially in the developing countries - has often convinced the counterparts through economic and material helps, aimed to obtain the creation of areas of influence in the ares of focus. It has managed to gain momentum as an international mediator in the global area, but it has also stolen space and resolved local issues without the intervention of the United States. Therefore, it has created its own dialogue space.

It’s about a growth in prestige and power, acquired within an institutional frame stacked in the post-war period, when the global values had been imposed by the United States and Europe. If China will acquire an even more efficient role in the international politics, it will have the legitimate possibility to ask for a language’s revision, especially in sensitive issues like human rights or climate change. The risk is that to get the dialogue’s and cooperation’s process slower. By contrast, United States are there to raise criticism, as far as they will not easily accept these changes.


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  • L'Autore

    Michele Bodei

    Michele Bodei sta per conseguire la laurea triennale in Studi Internazionali e Istituzioni Europee presso l’Università degli Studi di Milano, dove sta approfondendo gli studi sul regime di Cuba negli anni Sessanta nella preparazione dell’elaborato finale.

    È appassionato di geopolitica e di musica, dall’hip hop al jazz, e pratica nuoto nel tempo libero.

    In Mondo Internazionale ricopre il ruolo di autore su tematiche europee.

    Michele Bodei is getting his Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and European Istitutions at “Univesità degli Studi di Milano”, where he is deepening his studying on cuban regime during the Sixties while preparing his final thesis.

    He loves geopolitics and music, from hip hop to jazz, and during free times he enjoys swimming.

    In Mondo Internazionale he is author for european themes.

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#cina #vaccini #Africa #rcep #asia #aiib #cooperazioneinternazionale #statiuniti #shanghai #pechino

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