Edited by Maria A. Carrai, Jean-Christophe Defraigne and Jan Wouters
Chapter 2: China’s move toward economic and political resilience through the Belt and Road Initiative
This chapter discusses the concept of geoeconomic resilience and how it will ultimately allow the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to weld together and fully make use of its two main sources of legitimacy: economic wealth and nationalism. Today, the possibility of severe interstate crises threatens the party because it is often put under nationalist pressure to take aggressive action. As of now the CCP has not been in a position to comply with such demands without risking great economic consequences, which would undermine the legitimacy it derives from providing its people with economic welfare. Yet stepping back and accepting a political, economic or even military loss would strike a blow to both President Xi Jinping and party legitimacy. The solution to this dilemma is geoeconomic resilience, which would grant China the option to comply with nationalist demands to take aggressive action while absorbing the consequences and continuing to deliver on its promise of economic well-being. It has been emphasized on multiple occasions that China is not seeking to replace current international institutions through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and it would not have the capacity to do so even if it tried. No significant countries have publicly voiced support for a global order dominated by China, and no power has recognized the positive role the BRI could play to supplement the World Trade Organization, the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund. Concerns about the BRI are not ill-founded, but judgements may be blurred. Geoeconomic resilience would allow China to withstand and absorb the economic effects of various types of sanctions, providing it with the option to act more assertively abroad.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.