Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series
Edited by Carla P. Freeman
Chapter 3: China’s relations with developing countries: patterns, principles, characteristics, and future challenges
Developing countries may be defined as those countries ‘whose economies are comparatively backward and who are in the process of transformation from a traditional to a modern economy. ’The term ‘developing countries’ is commonly used in China today for countries that meet this definition; however, in the 1950s–1960s countries that had not yet undergone economic modernization were referred to as xinxing guojia (newly emerging countries) or ‘intermediate zone’ countries. In the 1970s–1980s, the term ‘Third World countries’ was generally employed. While the terms used in China for developing countries have varied over time, developing countries have been consistently treated as a single political entity by China and its relations with them have been emphasized as a cornerstone of China’s overall foreign relations. This chapter traces the major features in the development of China’s relations with developing countries in its Asian neighborhood, as well as in Africa and Latin America, with the goal of offering background for the chapters that follow in this volume that examine China’s impact on and relations with developing countries.
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