The Game Changer

1. Synopsis

a) Thesis Statement

China’s economic and military power is on the increase and as a result, the country is likely to experience a transformative impact in as far as global politics are concerned1.

b) Main points of the article

China has turned into a revolutionary power in its effort to maintain political stability and economic growth
Revolutions within the country have largely been responsible for China’s impact on the global economy
Chinese leaders have previously been less engaged in the world affairs but in recent years, they have realised that the country has to take an active role in such matters in order to fulfill the country’s domestic needs for raw materials and oil.
The current revolutionary changes are the result of a series of reforms and openness process that dates as far back as the late 1970s.
The new revolution in China has to confront such social ills as rampant corruption, pollution, environmental degradation, rising income inequalities, and soaring unemployment1.

1. Elizabeth, Economy, “ The Game Changer: Foreign Policy Revolution”, Foreign Affairs, 89, no. 6 (2010): 142 – 152

China envisions greener cities and for this reason, the country has invested heavily in projects aimed at providing clean energy.
China’s bold economic transformation plans are faced with new challenges and pressures, including substantial demands for resources.
With China has embraced internet technology to a great extent and as a result, there has emerged a virtual political system in the country that includes online blogs and online “voting” to ensure justice is achieved.
The Chinese revolution went global in the 1990s, in a policy meant to seek natural resources. Consequently, China now offers technical knowhow and construct infrastructure for countries rich in natural resources and oil in the hope of getting a share.
The increased voting share of China within the international Monetary Fund (IMF) means that the country will have a lot of say in the future of international financial systems.
Although China has made admirable progress in the economic front, its military reach has not been satisfactory.
The impact of the transformational policies adopted by China have been felt across the world and now, the country wants to match its military and economic expansion “with an equally aggressive media strategy”1.

1. Elizabeth, Economy, “ The Game Changer: Foreign Policy Revolution”, Foreign Affairs, 89, no. 6 (2010): 142 – 152

For example, a 24-hour global news channel that will compete with BBC and CNN has been launched.

2. Connections

a) Environment

The author of this article has made a connection to the environment. For example, the revolutionary changes in the political and economic realm of China have led to skyrocketing rates of environmental degradation and pollution, largely due to urbanization. On the other hand, the article has talked of a desire by China to ensure that its new cities are green. Consequently, the country has invested heavily in the clean energy sector. Currently, China is among the leading manufacturers of photovoltaic panels and wind turbines in the world2. The country is also making progress in the clean energy sector, such as in the manufacture of electric vehicles and high- speed rail.

b) Culture

The author has talked of a growing culture in China where information received from the outside world is now being shaped not just for local consumption, but also abroad. In addition, the author has dwelt on the process of “reform and openness” that was started by the Chinese leader Deng in the late 1970s, and which has given birth to the various reforms that are responsible for the current economic and political reforms1. These reforms have transformed China’s patterns of interaction and social mobility. In addition, the Chinese societal values have also changed.

2. George, Gilboy and Eric, Heginbotham, “China’s Dilemma Social Change and Political Reform”, Foreign Affairs, (2010): 10 – 18.

c) Governance and security (politics)

The author of this article has also dwelt on the issue of politics at length. To start with, she has pointed out the fact that the current political and economic reforms have turned China in to a leading global superpower. To be very candid, the reason why China is trying to sell its development and innovation agenda to countries rich in natural recourse and oil is not just to get access to such resources, but it is also a way of asserting itself as an upcoming global superpower3. In addition, the author has noted that China has had to encounter resistance form a number of countries in its quest to do business with them, on grounds of poor safety and environmental practices, as well as labor policies that appear to favor Chinese workers at the expense of the local workers. This is a more of a political debate than an economic one. Furthermore, the increase in the Chinese naval capacity is a pointer to the extent to which Beijing will go in order to ensure that its political interest is protected.

Resources and Development (economies)

The author has reiterated the fact that China’s case is one of the few economic success stories in recent years. As the second largest global economy, China is characterized by a booming export sector, a well managed currency, and a continuous flood of foreign capital. China has also increased its trade ties with many resources-rich countries in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. China has offered these countries various trade aid deals, technical and training opportunities4.

3. Peter, Ness, Revolution and Chinese Foreign Policy: Peking’s Support for Wars of National Liberation. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1971).

4. Barbara, Barnouin and Yu Changgen, Chinese Foreign Policy During the Cultural Revolution. (London: Kegan Paul International, 1998)

The author has also noted that as China becomes a knowledge-based and innovative economy, cash-rich investment funds and state-owned enterprises are being encouraged by Chinese leaders to acquire or take stakes in foreign companies.

3. Critique and Reflection

a) Critique of the author’s thesis statement

I am in agreement with the author that China’s rise as an economic and military power will transform the country into a formidable player in the global political arena. This is because politics are affected a lot by economic advancement and military power. A robust economy, coupled with a growing military strength means that the country’s stand on certain political and economic policies may influence the overall stand of the global economy.

b) Reflection

Every nation is now scared of the economic powerhouse that China has turned into. Considering its large population and the fact that it has now turned into a knowledge based economy, China will undoubtedly dictate the pace at which technological developments take place in the Asian region and the world at large.

In a few moths time, China’ current crop of leaders shall be replaced by young well-traveled, politically entrepreneurial and confident social scientists. These new leaders are expected to bring more change to China. Despite the fact that leaders in China have already established their vision and effected change, however, the buildup of both local and international pressures may produce a different outcome from the one that the new leaders anticipate.

Considering that majority of the revolutions are inherently unstable, other leading global economies such as the United States need to institute policies aimed at exploring the domestic revolution in China in order to forecast future opportunities and challenges that the international community is likely to experience as a result of such instability.

China is on the pathway to making global institutions and norms and for this reason, other global economic and political leaders need to come up with their own strategic priorities and ideals, and decide the best way that china may realize such objectives.

Bibliography

Barnouin, B and Changgen, Y. Chinese Foreign Policy During the Cultural Revolution. London: Kegan Paul International, 1998.

Economy, Elizabeth. “The Game Changer: Foreign Policy Revolution.” Foreign Affairs, 89, no. 6 (2010): 142 – 152

Gilboy, George and Heginbotham, Eric. “China’s Dilemma Social Change and Political Reform.” Foreign Affairs, (2010): 10 – 18.

Ness, Peter. Revolution and Chinese Foreign Policy: Peking’s Support for Wars of National Liberation. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1971.