As China’s senior leadership under President Xi Jinping approaches its second year in power, Beijing’s foreign policy with the United States and China’s regional neighbors has shifted. However, China’s policy with developing countries has seen far fewer changes.
In this podcast, Carnegie-Tsinghua’s Matt Ferchen discussed with Carnegie-Tsinghua’s Paul Haenle the need for China to move past its policy of peaceful development and build more constructive and diversified relationships with resource-rich developing countries. Ferchen said that such countries seek to broaden their cooperation with China beyond commodity exports and want to address shared development challenges. Beijing has only just begun the process of exploring potential opportunities for joint cooperation on issues such as climate change, urbanization, and overpopulation.
The need to overhaul Beijing’s peaceful development policy has become especially important as Chinese state-owned enterprises increase their operations in Latin America with little consideration of the diplomatic or political ramifications. Ferchen concluded that Latin America could serve as a major area of opportunity for the United States and China to work together to promote sustainable development, most notably in regards to energy security.
Matt Ferchen is a Carnegie–Tsinghua resident scholar who specializes in China’s political-economic relations with emerging economies. He runs a program on China’s economic and political relations with the developing world, including Latin America.
Paul Haenle is the director of the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center. Prior to joining Carnegie, he served from June 2007 to June 2009 as the director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolian Affairs on the National Security Council staffs of former president George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.