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INTERNATIONAL
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ISSN (Print) 1996-7845

ISSN (Online) 2542-2081



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Sergey Mikhnevich

Dreaming Together: The Economic Dimension of China’s “Smart Power” in South-East Asia

2018. Vol. 13. No. 4. P. 237–255 [issue contents]

This article considers “soft” and “smart power” through the prism of current ideological concepts informing the foreign policy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) — specifically, the “community of common destiny” and the “One Belt One Road.” The author argues that China is drawing on new theoretical approaches to strengthen its state power and its influence on strategic territories in Asia-Pacific and South East Asia. For the effective and efficient advancement of its national interests China has to overcome significant “path dependence” in the regional relations towards its policy.

Chinese authorities clearly understand that it is impossible to achieve China’s goals without a significant presence in the socio-economic dimension of target countries and regions. In pursuit of this goal, China uses existing economic mechanisms (international trade and investment) and has also established new ones, including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Economic Belt of the Silk Road/One Belt One Road/Belt and Road initiative. These mechanisms supplement the value dimension of Chinese policy.

China is working to create an institutional system in which it can secure its influence and establish the conditions that will allow it to become a world leader in the future. Chinese authorities appreciate that, without a proactive strategy aimed both at the alleviation or elimination of path dependence and the establishment of a positive perception of its policies, the PRC will not succeed in strengthening its leadership. At the same time, the growing interdependence and interconnectivity between China and its foreign partners will increase the scope of opportunities for China to advance its national interests and reduce the likelihood of negative conduct towards China.

Citation: Mikhnevich S. (2018) Dreaming Together: The Economic Dimension of China’s “Smart Power” in South-East Asia. International Organisations Research Journal , vol. 13, no 4, pp. 237-255 (in English). DOI: 10.17323/1996-7845-2018-04-11.
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