By All Means Necessary: How China's Resource Quest is Changing the World

By All Means Necessary: How China's Resource Quest is Changing the World

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 0190229225

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In the past thirty years, China has transformed from an impoverished country where peasants comprised the largest portion of the populace to an economic power with an expanding middle class and more megacities than anywhere else on earth. This remarkable transformation has required, and will continue to demand, massive quantities of resources. Like every other major power in modern history, China is looking outward to find them.

In By All Means Necessary, Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael Levi explore the unrivaled expansion of the Chinese economy and the global effects of its meteoric growth. China is now engaged in a far-flung quest, hunting around the world for fuel, ores, water, and land for farming, and deploying whatever it needs in the economic, political, and military spheres to secure the resources it requires. Chinese traders and investors buy commodities, with consequences for economies, people, and the environment around the world. Meanwhile the Chinese military aspires to secure sea lanes, and Chinese diplomats struggle to protect the country's interests abroad. And just as surely as China's pursuit of natural resources is changing the world--restructuring markets, pushing up commodity prices, transforming resource-rich economies through investment and trade--it is also changing China itself. As Chinese corporations increasingly venture abroad, they must navigate various political regimes, participate in international markets, and adopt foreign standards and practices, which can lead to wide-reaching social and political ramifications at home.

Clear, authoritative, and provocative, By All Means Necessary is a sweeping account of where China's pursuit of raw materials may take the country in the coming years and what the consequences will be--not just for China, but for the whole world.

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2013, http://www.eia.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=IR. 76. Xiaocong Wang, “China’s CNPC Performs Balancing Act in Iran, ” Caixin Online, September 26, 2012, http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-09-26/industries/34084845_1_cnpc-south-pars-project-south-azadegan. 77. “Work Starts at 2 of Iran’s Oil Fields to Produce 700, 000 bpd, ” Tehran Times, July 8, 2012, http://tehrantimes.com/economy-and-business/99442-chinese-company-invests-20b-in-iranian-oil-fields; and Erica Downs, “Getting China to

patterns of resource demand will change too. In particular, personal consumption is far less minerals-intensive than industrial activity. Its impact on energy is more ambiguous; industry uses energy intensely, but so do consumers, whether to power their cars or heat and light their homes. But China has struggled to effect a decisive shift. In 2006, reflecting on the previous five years, a senior official warned: “During the 10th Five-Year Plan period, the [investment] rate increased from 36

bank Citigroup, for example, has estimated that annual growth in global copper demand will be 14 percent lower in the coming years if China shifts to a consumption-driven model; it also projects slower growth for aluminum and iron ore demand—roughly 6 and 4 percent lower, respectively.53 Other experts argue that any rebalancing will be slow, if only for political reasons, since attempting to effect a rapid shift would risk a sharp slowdown in economic growth.54 They also warn that even if

for crude. Since these loans have long payback periods, often extending over several decades, this appears to create the sort of rigid, nonmarket arrangement that many Westerners fear China promotes, locking up oil for China over the term of the loan. Yet the reality is far more benign and far more familiar to the global oil business. The structure of a typical loan-for-oil arrangement is straightforward.32 The CDB provides a foreign government or state-owned oil company a loan to finance oil

Concern, ” Guardian, March 25, 2013; George Obulutsa and Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala, “Africa’s Trade Ties with China in Spotlight as President Xi Visits, ” Reuters, March 24, 2013; and Joshua Partlow, “Afghan Minister Accused of Taking Bribe, ” Washington Post, November 18, 2009. 15. For example, Leszek Buszynski, “The South China Sea: Oil, Maritime Claims, and U.S.-China Strategic Rivalry, ” Washington Quarterly 35, no. 2 (Spring 2012): 139–156; Brahma Chellaney, Water: Asia’s New Battleground

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