نفوذ جغرافیایی اقتصادی چین در حال رشد و تکامل سرمایه داری متنوع
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|8607||2010||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Geoforum, Volume 41, Issue 5, September 2010, Pages 677–688
China’s growing geo-economic clout globally has attracted significant research attention over the past few years. Rather than strictly adopt a national-specific and path-dependent perspective, this paper offers a nuanced perspective on the rationale of Chinese economic expansions overseas. I propose we view China’s growing geo-economic influence as a relational development, inextricably connected to broader changes in global capitalism, especially the failure of the US government to maintain confidence in the dollar. The paper probes critically the underlying logics of two recent developments: (1) the role of the China Investment Corporation (a new sovereign wealth fund) and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in accessing new markets worldwide; and (2) the policies to extend the global reach of the Chinese yuan. I argue that these phenomena are concatenated to China’s broader aim to secure domestic economic security, given its vast holdings of dollar reserves and its macroeconomic constraints through the maintenance of a fixed foreign exchange regime. These developments in turn contour and sustain the evolution of the variegated global system of capitalism.
The emergence of China as a global economic power has spawned a gamut of differing analyses on the causes and implications of this phenomenon. Building on Frank’s (1998) seminal claim that the future geographical core of capitalism will relocate to East Asia, Arrighi (2007) argues that the revolution in China in the 1930s created the conditions of possibility for the implementation of state paternalism and the ultimate formation of a “market society” distinct from “Western” capitalism. Peerenboom (2008), on the other hand, examines whether China’s politico-economic development constitutes a “threat” to “the West” or a “model for the rest”. More dramatically, Li (2008) argues that the so-called “rise” of China will trigger the “demise” of global capitalism. While proffering insightful and timely perspectives on China’s economic ascendancy, these analyses largely construe Chinese economic development from within, as if China offers a clear ‘model’ distinguishable from others. However, I would caution against essentializing the Chinese political economy and construing its growth through a zero-sum lens; as this paper argues, it is more productive to place China’s economic policies in a broader context, or more specifically within what Peck and Theodore (2007) call the variegated global system of capitalism, in order to gain a deeper grasp of the specific processes shaping China’s growing geo-economic influence. To Peck and Theodore (2007, p. 761), understanding capitalism as a variegated whole, with different constituents (of which China is one) and outcomes, allows analysts to eschew the foibles of the varieties-of-capitalism approach because “reading [economic] differentiation primarily through the lens of (national) institutional coordination runs the risk of exaggerating and reifying some forms of geographical difference, while obfuscating threads of commonality and interdependence”. The emphasis on “commonality” and “interdependence” is critical. As Gibson-Graham (1996, pp. 15–16) argue, “a capitalist site (a firm, industry or economy) or a capitalist practice (exploitation of wage labor, distribution of surplus value) cannot appear as the concrete embodiment of an abstract capitalist essence. It has no invariant ‘inside’ but is constituted by its continually changing and contradictory ‘outsides’”. Rather than construe such “outsides” as non-capitalist modes or practices (cf. Gibson-Graham, 2006), however, I would argue that capitalist sites and practices are shaped by other such sites and practices that may be territorially and qualitatively different, but which are still operating within the logics of capitalism. To be sure, I am not claiming that capitalism is a totalizing system or that non-capitalist policies are unimportant; capitalist logics have proven extremely pervasive, however, and as we will discuss shortly, Chinese policymakers are proactively and simultaneously negotiating capitalist logics and macroeconomic constraints even as they mould their own version of domestic politico-economic governance. In other words, it is the engagement of capitalism at the global scale that helps explain China’s growing geo-economic influence. Indeed, the Chinese political economy is ensconced within the finance-driven global economy today. The Chinese state thus reacts reflexively to its self-imposed macroeconomic constraints and changes in other economies by seizing emergent opportunities to create new markets in new geographical regions. This is effected through a dualistic politico-economic strategy: (1) the regulation of the domestic financial system and restructuring of state-owned enterprises (SOEs); and (2) the selective adoption of neoliberal principles as a sovereign geopolitical entity as well as through capitalist vehicles (in the form of SOEs and a sovereign wealth fund)1 on the global stage. Put differently, China’s economic expansion is co-produced by the Chinese state’s strong interventionist strategies domestically (notably its fixed exchange-rate regime) as well as the structural changes in the global capitalist system. In turn, China’s active capital accumulation strategies overseas (especially over the past 3 years) are helping to stabilize an otherwise volatile global capitalist system. This paper is arranged into four parts. In Section 2, I will provide the theoretical basis that frames the discussion. The analysis is situated within Harvey’s (1999) conceptualization of the geographical causes and effects of capital flows, or what he calls capital’s “spatio-temporal fixes”. Harvey’s arguments are tied to the specific relationship between interest rates, capital flows and foreign exchange regime. To follow Peck and Theodore (2007, p. 760), a closer scrutiny of macroeconomic developments could further enrich the analysis of the contexts and causes of China’s growing geo-economic influence. For analytical purposes, the theoretical constructs are supported by references to US and Chinese examples, the primary reason being the symbiotic relationship between the two economies since China’s post-1978 re-entry into the global capitalist system. I then elucidate the historical–geographical context of China’s politico-economic reforms, paying particular attention to the recent “Go Abroad” policies, before analyzing the processes shaping China’s global economic influence. The theoretical implications of the discussion are then addressed in the conclusion.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The overaccumulation of financial capital in China and its accelerated outflows are part of a global capitalist logic to secure profitable “spatio-temporal fixes”. Indeed, Harvey’s (1999, p. 398) prescient analysis remains very useful in summing up this phenomenon: “Rampant speculation and unchecked appropriation, costly as these are for capital and life-sapping as they may be for labour, generate the chaotic ferment out of which new spatial configurations can grow”. Following the 2007 financial crisis, a more intense “chaotic ferment” has emerged, with the Chinese government and SOEs as key drivers. This development in turn reflects how, “at any particular moment, the territorial organization of state powers forms the fixed geographical environment within which investment processes operate” (Harvey, 1999, p. 405). The interesting difference is how this “geographical environment” is now “fixed” at the global scale, with Chinese SOEs and the CIC actively searching for investments worldwide. The significant involvement of Chinese state apparatuses in securing “spatio-temporal fixes” not only underscores how capital accumulation “depends on maintaining an unstable balance between its economic supports in the various expressions of the value forms and its extra-economic supports beyond the value form” (Jessop, 2000, p. 326), but also how the state is directly involved in the expressions of the value forms. To meet its objectives, the Chinese government has applied an assortment of neo-mercantilist and neoliberal principles as a state (the “extra-economic” supports), and has actively participated in shaping geo-economic configurations at the global scale through capitalist entities (thus affecting expressions of value forms). These strategies consequently engendered a stabilizing effect on the global economy through the injection of much-needed financial capital, although they also ironically foreground and fortify the neoliberal emphases on free trade and market-like rules. As discussed in sections two and three, the Chinese state has to act because its huge and growing amount of dollar-denominated reserves, if invested inappropriately, face devaluation over time. Furthermore, the US-government’s debt-financing policies destabilized confidence in the dollar and more broadly the US financial system, which explains China’s accelerated search for alternative avenues for its foreign currency reserves as well as the drive to expand yuan-usage overseas. While China’s economic development is historically path-dependent, notably its choice to retain a fixed exchange-rate regime (which caused the overaccumulation of dollars) and to restructure SOEs (rather than sell them off to private investors, as was often the case in former socialist economies in Eastern Europe and the ex-USSR), it has also increased its exposure to the underlying crisis tendencies in capitalistic restructuring, as shown by the rapid rise of outward FDIs to capture devalued assets (a key aspect of an economic crisis) as well as strategies to reduce dollar-usage. This in turn raises the question whether the intensified application of capitalistic logics abroad has instead become the precondition for strong state regulation of the domestic Chinese political economy (paceArrighi, 2007). Indeed, it is arguable that while the Chinese government has formulated protectionist strategies that suit the unique domestic conditions of the Chinese political economy, these strategies simultaneously created the macroeconomic constraints (Section 2.2) that necessitated an increased exposure to investment risks inherent to the global system of capitalism. Rather than “converge” towards a neoliberal model (cf. Harvey, 2005), however, the Chinese government seems to have developed what Tickell and Peck (2003, p. 181, my emphasis) call the “capacity to morph into a variety of institutional forms, to insinuate itself into, and graft itself onto, a range of institutional settlements, and to absorb parallel and even contending narratives of restructuring and intervention in response both to internal contradictions and external pressures”. Above all, it shows that the Chinese state – like many other states – is in fact a reflexive and effervescent entity that constantly addresses mutating politico-economic realities within a variegated capitalist system. This peculiarly gives a new twist to Harvey’s (1999) view of the state’s necessary “union” with capital. So long as China retains the yuan’s dollar-peg, which requires sustained macroeconomic intervention, this development could well last for quite a significant period.