February 24, 2016, 12:15 PM - 02:00 PM
China and the Developing World
This panel discussion, part of our ongoing China Speaker Series, addressed different ways in which China is interacting with the developing world, including its "one belt, one road" policy, its involvement in Africa, and its engagement in development projects globally.
On February 24, continuing our China Speaker Series, the Robert S. Strauss Center and the Center for East Asian Studies hosted an expert panel discussing the role China is playing in developmental projects, as well as this country's interactions with the developing world. The Centers welcomed Ambassador David Shinn, an expert on the Horn of Africa and professor at The George Washington University; Dr. Suisheng Zhao, professor of Chinese politics and foreign policy at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies; and Nadege Rolland, Senior Project Director for Political and Security Affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research. We would like to thank Louisa Greve, Vice President for Asia, Middle East and North Africa, and Global Programs at the National Endowment for Democracy, for moderating this panel discussion.
Ambassador Shinn commented on several Chinese interests driving this country's involvement in African development. 52% of all Chinese foreign aid goes to Africa, and China is building a level of interaction with African countries that is not matched by any other nation--as reflected by the fact that there is a Chinese embassy in every African country that China has foreign relations with. Not even the U.S. has done the same. According to Ambassador Shinn, China's interests in Africa include gaining more access to African raw materials, increasing exports to African countries, putting an end to Taiwan's influence in the region, and minimizing crime, terrorism, and piracy in Africa in the hopes of enhancing China's security.
Nadege Rolland spoke on China's strategy behind the "One Belt, One Road" initiative (OBOR). The Chinese government has officially stated that OBOR is a regional development program that is not intended to be an only-Chinese-led initiative, but a partnership with regional actors to increase development of trade in the region. Ms. Rolland said that China hopes the OBOR program will demonstrate China's committment to regional development, while increasing its power and influence in Asia in particular, and the world in general. However, China still faces many challenges in the completion of the initiative, namely negative reactions from other states, such as Russian and India, developing insfrastructure in unstable regions, and making this a sustainable project.
Dr. Suisheng Zhao addressed the role that China's growing power is taking in the international system. After the global financial crisis of 2008, China has been actively promoting financial leadership. Initiatives such as OBOR and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, along with criticism of the dollar as a dominant currency--said Zhao--have shown China's wish to become a financial leader. Dr. Zhao pointed out that even though China is not a status quo power, it does not have the capacity or initiative to challenge Western global leadership. China is still benefiting from the existing world order, especially the security that the U.S. provides to trade routes. In sum, China is not in a position to replace the U.S. as a "global hegemon."
More photos from this event can be accessed here.
Video of the presentation can be accessed here.
We also had the opportunity to speak with Ms. Nadege Rolland about "China and the Developing World" here.
Ambassador David Shinn received his BA (1963), MA (1964), and PhD (1980) from George Washington University. He has a certificate in African studies from Northwestern University. He served for thirty-seven years in the US Foreign Service with assignments at embassies in Lebanon, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritania, Cameroon, Sudan and as ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. He has been teaching in the Elliott School since 2001 and serves on a number of boards of nongovernmental organizations.
An expert on the Horn of Africa, Dr. Shinn speaks at events around the world. He is the coauthor of China and Africa: A Century of Engagement, the Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, and has authored numerous articles and book chapters. His research interests include China-Africa relations, East Africa and the Horn, terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, conflict situations, U.S. policy in Africa, and the African brain drain.
You can follow Ambasador Shinn's blog here.
Suisheng Zhao is a professor of Chinese politics and foreign policy at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies. He serves as director of the school's Center for China–US Cooperation, and is the founding editor and the editor-in-chief of the multidisciplinary Journal of Contemporary China.
Prior to arriving at the University of Denver, Zhao was an associate professor of political science at Washington College and an associate professor of East Asian politics at Colby College. He received both a bachelor's and master's degree in economics from Beijing University, and subsequently completed a second master's degree in sociology from the University of Missouri. Zhao earned his PhD in political science from the University of California, San Diego.
Nadège Rolland is Senior Project Director for Political and Security Affairs at NBR, where she directs NBR’s new projects that bring in European perspectives and interests, including projects in the area of “new trilateralism.” Prior to joining NBR, Ms. Rolland served as senior adviser to the French Ministry of Defense and was responsible for analyzing diplomatic, military, and domestic political developments across the region.
From 2008 to 2014 Ms. Rolland served as Desk Officer for China and Adviser on Northeast Asia in the Ministry of Defense's Directorate for Strategic Affairs. In these positions she wrote reports for the defense minister and other senior government officials, coordinated inter-agency policy reviews, and directed an external research program on a wide range of topics, including China’s military modernization, diplomatic strategy, leadership dynamics, and treatment of ethnic minorities; the domestic politics and defense policies of Japan, South Korea, and Mongolia; maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas; and Europe’s evolving role in Asia.
From 2005 to 2008 Ms. Rolland lived and worked in Singapore, first as a graduate student and then as research analyst in the China Program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. From 2003 to 2005 she was a senior analyst of Asia-Pacific affairs at the French Defense Ministry’s Directorate for Strategy. Between 1994 and 1998 she worked in the Ministry as a China analyst.
In June 2007 Ms. Rolland received a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. She graduated first in her class, receiving the UOB Gold Medal Award for the most outstanding student and an A+ for her dissertation on China’s naval ambitions and their implications for regional security. She holds a Diplôme Supérieur on Contemporary Asia and a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese language with distinction from the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations in Paris. Ms. Rolland speaks and reads Mandarin. She is fluent in English and has knowledge of Italian and Serbo-Croat.
Louisa Greve is Vice President for Asia, Middle East & North Africa, and Global Programs at the National Endowment for Democracy, where she previously served as Director for East Asia, Senior Program Officer, and Program Officer. She has studied, worked, and travelled in Asia since 1980 and has testified before Congressional committees on human rights in China and democracy promotion in Asia. She was a member of the AEI/Armitage International Taiwan Policy Working Group (2007) and the Council on Foreign Relations Term Member Roundtable on U.S. National Security – New Threats in a Changing World (2002).
Ms. Greve served as a member of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA from 1993 to 1998, and was a volunteer China and Mongolia specialist for Amnesty from 1990 to 1999. She served two terms as a member of the Virginia State Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (2007-2011).