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Title: The dragonomic diplomacy (De)code : a study on the causal relationship between Chinese economic diplomacy preference formation and the influence of multilateral economic regimes
Author: Zhang, Shuxiu
ISNI:       0000 0004 2752 9131
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Since the reformation of the Chinese economy, two notable trends have developed. First, the growing prominence of multilateral economic regimes (MERs) on the political agenda of Beijing has propelled deepened engagements between Chinese policy actors and institutions, and the agencies of MERs. This development is accompanied by a second trend, which is a growing dynamism in China’s economic diplomacy within the multilateral arenas. This dynamism is reflected in the evolving national preferences and approaches for multilateral economic negotiations, from outright resistance to gradual flexibility, and in some cases, acceptance. The simultaneous and parallel developments of these two trends stem a curiosity on whether a causal relationship exist between the deepened China-MER engagements and the dynamism of China’s economic diplomacy. Has Beijing’s open-door policy to global economic integration opened new windows of opportunity for the MER agencies to influence China’s economic diplomacy and its preference formation? In what way(s) and/or in which capacities can the agencies of MERs assert influence on China’s economic diplomacy preference formation? Under what conditions is this form of external influence successful? What are the long-run implications of the deepened China-MER engagements on Beijing’s economic diplomacy preference formation structure? What does the China-MER relationship tell us about China’s economic diplomacy preference formation in the 21st century? Although China’s partake in the international political economy has received much scholarly attention, few studies have attempted to decode China’s economic diplomacy preference formation, and even fewer have investigated the important nexus between the China-MER relationship and the behaviours of Chinese economic diplomacy. This thesis is a response to the knowledge deficit in these regards. By examining China’s participation in the multilateral climate change, and trade 4 negotiations, the thesis addresses the primary research question, how do multilateral economic regimes and their agencies influence China’s economic diplomacy preference formation? The study finds that the MER agencies do affect Chinese economic diplomacy preference formation. However, their influence peaks at an absorption level whereby Chinese preferences adapt to external preferences but not to the extent of reforming traditional principles and beliefs. The comparatively more effective ways of asserting influence for the MER agencies is through a costs-and-benefits calculus, information dissemination, shuttle diplomacy proximity talks, and informal negotiation practices. In general, Chinese policy actors do not refute the influence of the MER agencies; rather they absorb and adapt to it. In addition, the MER agencies assert influence at different stages of the preference formation, and over time, implicitly establish themselves as integrated policy actors in Beijing. On the whole, this thesis contributes to a deeper understanding about how, why, and when international linkages matter in China’s economic diplomacy, and to the extent of driving preference transformation. The study provides useful analytic lenses that flesh out the variety of functions the MER agencies have in shaping and informing China’s national preferences and negotiation approaches. At the same time, it offers a fuller description of how the Chinese policy actors and institutions respond to (implicit) external interventions in its policy processes. Consequently, this thesis is a significant contribution that adds value to the scholarly debates and knowledge-building about one of the most important political and economic phenomenon of our time.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JZ International relations