Interview about “The international implications of the Chinese model of development in the Global South: Asian Consensus as a network power”, with Javier Vadell

1)   China’s recent rising has been a new element in a global interdependence, specially due to its model of development. Is RPC becoming a central key in hegemonic neoliberalism?

If we consider that hegemonic neoliberalism is an historic bloc articulated  at the global level  by social forces, states and institutions – as OECD Countries, transnational capitalist class and international economic institutions – the answer is yes. The particular Chinese development model is not a model ‘for export’, it is more functional than a challenge to the hegemonic neoliberalism. In other words, China became a new engine of world economy and a relevant country in global trade networks, manufacturing and commodity markets in the energy sector, not applying the neoliberal economic model but a particular mix of planned/market model. Nevertheless, China never contested the liberal institutional architecture (OMC, IMF,WB) and is trying to adapt itself to the neoliberal historic bloc.

2)    How the concept of Asian Consensus can change the relations among the principal actors of the international system?

The concept of Asian Consensus (AC) helps us to understand, firstly, the rapid transformations in global economy – particularly in the 21st Century – with the development of a new economic network power based on a new complementary and asymmetric North-South relationship in the post-Washington Consensus era. This new network power has been established by the growing economic and political relationship between People’s Republic of China (PRC) and some less development regions, particularly with Africa and Latin America. This concept aims to elucidate a kind of economic power relationship imposed by global economic changes, the expansion and growth of Chinese economy, the rising commodities prices and the admission of China in the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. Secondly, AC emerges as a new option for Latin America and Africa in trade opportunities, aid and donor programs and official – Chinese – development assistance (ODA). As we stated in the article, an important point concerning AC is its bilateral and, frequently, informal features – a distinct pattern from what occurs under Washington Consensus, for example.

3)    The relations between Latin America/Africa and China have acquired a new significance over the last decades. Which are the benefits and problems that these new approaches can bring to Latin America and Africa considering the Asian Consensus?

The benefits are visible in cooperation and development assistance and growing trade between China and the Global South (Latin America and Africa). Chinese growing presence in these regions stimulates commercial links. South American and African economies have benefited from the commodities exports after 2000s global economic crisis. The failure of domestic neoliberal economic policies after global financial crisis seems to have broken the possibility of univocal reforms and development policies for the less developed countries. It is in this context that the PRC emerged as a main factor for the economic recovery of most Latin America and Africa after the 1990’s. China became the most important extra-regional actor for these states fostering more political and economic maneuvers for developing countries. Nevertheless, these transformations does not overcome the structural fragilities of less development countries, it was only a good opportunity in a turbulent economic world. In fact, is important to note that this kind of relationship could incur in a new pattern of dependence, with deleterious consequences for such countries. But this is a possibility among others which must be researched in the future.

4) Is it important that an alternate view on China – other than northern countries’ – is being published in southern countries like Brazil? Why?

We think that analyzing our international economic and political research problems by ‘southern’ lens is not only important but essential, in order to promote a wide debate and discussions about current transformations and their impact in our region.

Read the article: 

VADELL, Javier; RAMOS, Leonardo; NEVES, Pedro. The international implications of the Chinese model of development in the Global South: Asian Consensus as a network power. Rev. bras. polít. int.,  Brasília ,  v. 57, n. spe,   2014 .   Available from <http://www.scielo.br/article_plus.php?pid=S0034-73292014000300091&tlng=en&lng=en>. access on  17  Oct.  2014.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0034-7329201400206.

Javier Vadell is Adjunct Professor at Department of International Relations of Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais, Brazil, javier.vadell@gmail.com

Gabriela Araújo is member of the Program of Tutorial Education in International Relations at University of Brasília -PET-REL and of the International Relations Analysis Lab – LARI (dibisa_ra@hotmail.com )

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