Handbook on the International Political Economy of China
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Handbook on the International Political Economy of China

Edited by Ka Zeng

This book examines the processes, evolution and consequences of China’s rapid integration into the global economy. Through analyses of Beijing’s international economic engagement in areas such as trade, investment, finance, sustainable development and global economic governance, it highlights the forces shaping China’s increasingly prominent role in the global economic arena. Chapters explore China’s behavior in global economic governance, the interests and motivations underlying China’s international economic initiatives and the influence of politics, including both domestic politics and foreign relations, on the country’s global economic footprint.
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Chapter 16: China’s policy on free trade agreements

Yang Jiang


Free trade agreements (FTAs) have been an important channel through which China pursued economic benefits with selected partners in selected sectors and expanded its economic relations beyond the WTO. They have also been handy tools for Beijing’s diplomatic objectives. This chapter provides an overview of China’s activities in forming FTAs, and analyzes how China’s FTA policy has changed over time since the Asian Financial Crisis. Through examples of China’s key FTAs, this chapter demonstrates how the Chinese leadership has sought to balance between national political and economic interests as well as between domestic and international interests in formulating its FTA policy. Such balancing acts have not proven easy, given China’s multiple objectives and diverse domestic interests.

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