Libmonster ID: KZ-2193
Author(s) of the publication: E. I. SAFRONOVA


Candidate of Economic Sciences

Far East Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences

China Keywords: developing countries, political and economic course, mutual cooperation, new features

Relations between China and developing countries are a complex set of links, contacts and dependencies, so that new moments in these relations can manifest themselves in a variety of areas.

A relatively new development is that developing countries have found their own niche in the concept of a "harmonious world", which is recorded in official party and state documents of the People's Republic of China. According to Beijing, harmonizing the activities of the world community without improving relations between developed and developing countries is extremely problematic, because the "intertwining of traditional and non-traditional security threats" is becoming more and more pronounced on the world stage, there is an "imbalance in the development of the world economy" and the widening "gap between North and South". Therefore, "building a harmonious world requires the joint efforts of all members of the international community", in particular, in "resolving the imbalance of the world economy"1, which is aggravated by its uneven development.

Since the 1980s, Beijing has consistently emphasized "the growing weight of third World countries (TM) in international political life, which no one can turn a blind eye to."2. At the same time, the Chinese leadership is aware that the "third world" as a single community, united by one goal and a common past, existed only in the ideological attitudes of the XX century. The heyday of the Non-Aligned Movement has passed, and the similarity of historical destinies in the past and many current economic challenges are no longer sufficient grounds for long-term strategic partnership relations.

With this in mind, Beijing takes a clearly differentiated approach to developing countries. And not only at the regional or continental level, but also at the level of individual countries. The PRC takes into account that the heterogeneity of this group of countries carries a considerable conflict potential associated with the competition of developing countries, primarily in the economic sphere: in financial and investment, technological, production sites and labor markets. China itself has already become a "victim" of this rivalry. Thus, Mexico, Argentina, a number of Central American countries and South Africa were forced to take a number of measures to regulate imports from China, protecting local producers of textiles and consumer goods.3
In this regard, it seems that the PRC sees a certain political value in developing countries only when it is still able to act as a single "anti-hegemonist4" front within the framework of an international organization or an international group united by a common interest. That is why, over the past decade, the PRC's practice of creating international structures in the "third world" (China-Africa, China-Latin America, BRICS forums, etc.) has been so clearly traced. given an organized beginning, the conflict potential of the latter is easier to track and this "world" itself becomes more pliable for promoting agreed ideas, if not at the global, then at least at the regional level.

The organizational and structural "streamlining" and reorganization of the "third world" promoted by the PRC is an important new moment in its policy. China's activity in this area also shows that, no matter how much Beijing denies it, China has already become the real leader of this group of countries.


The People's Republic of China continues to position itself as an ordinary member of the developing world, categorically denying its independence.-

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belonging to the number of developed countries and even more so-superpowers. This is argued by China both by its objective socio-economic realities and by the considerations voiced by Deng Xiaoping: "If you become a leader, you will spoil the business. The hegemonists have a very bad reputation, and the leader of the third world will also have no better reputation. This is not a kind excuse, but a purely political calculation, "said the" father of Chinese reform " 5.

Nevertheless, in the official rhetoric of developing countries, especially in Africa, China is increasingly directly referred to as the "leading country of the global South".

The current Chinese leadership considers its previous attempts to form an alliance with both Moscow in the 1960s and Washington in the late 1970s and early 1980s to be unsuccessful. In this regard, Beijing decided to abandon close allied relations with the "powerful of this world"6. At the same time, Chinese leaders believe, among other things, that China's independent and independent foreign policy has a positive impact on the country's image in the "third world". And now attempts to classify China as a developed country are perceived by Beijing as a desire to quarrel and separate the PRC from its partners in the "third world".

At the same time, by integrating itself into the processes of globalization, Beijing often departs from the principles that it should have been guided by as a country that insistently declares its belonging to the "third world". Simply put, in China's foreign policy, consideration of globalization trends often outweighs considerations of strategic partnership with developing countries. At the same time, China actually divides these countries into interest groups, which corresponds to the phenomena of regionalization as an integral part of globalization processes. And this is also a new moment and a new trend that requires further observation.

The Third World, for all its heterogeneity, continues to be a convenient partner for China, with which it has a whole range of interests. According to a number of African experts, China is not just an economic counterparty, but also an example of a socio-political model of development. While the West insists on the need for political freedoms and the protection of universal rights, Beijing declares a priority to increase the standard of living and strengthen the national sovereignty of the TM 7 countries.


Another new development in Beijing's policy is its growing willingness to use its veto power in the UN Security Council as an argument and incentive in its dialogue with the developing world.

So, China refused to support the resolution providing for the arrest of the President of Sudan, O. al-Bashir, and earlier-sanctions against the regime of R. Mugabe in Zimbabwe. This position makes China the preferred partner for these two resource-rich African states. Finally, the latest example is when on February 4, 2012, China, together with Russia, blocked the adoption of a resolution on Syria by the UN Security Council condemning the actions of the current leadership of the country.

The resulting political and economic benefits do not require any additional financial or other costs on the part of China. Although the Chinese representative to the UN Security Council was forced and reluctant to vote for a resolution against Iran, in general, Beijing does not approve of the introduction of sanctions and shows a clear interest in maintaining special partnership relations with Tehran. This is largely due to China's desire to maintain a high level of Iranian oil exports to China.

Beijing quite often speaks out in favor of reforming the UN Security Council, in particular, by granting permanent membership to developing countries. At various times, Chinese representatives have named candidates from Brazil, South Africa, and Egypt. And each of these countries, inspired by the hope of getting this membership, one way or another, goes to even closer foreign policy cooperation with China.

Another new phenomenon in China's relations with TM is that it uses the conflict potential of the "third world" both for its own interests and in the interests of strengthening China's political and economic ties with developing countries in general. Such a policy often involves considerable risks, which, however, are justified by high profits. So, there are so many opposing sides in TM (for example, in Africa) that China has the opportunity to choose a likely partner in the face of any group. If a particular regime provides access to the right resources on the right terms, its political credo is no longer so important. By doing so, China not only strengthens the positions of a number of friendly authoritarian leaders, but also deprives Western competitors who advocate the "democratic" path of development of freedom of maneuver in this sector of the "third world" 8.


As for trade and economic relations between China and TM, we can say that they are now entering a fundamentally new cycle. While previously low-cost mass-market goods were the mainstay of Chinese exports, now the share of industrial equipment, sophisticated household appliances, and vehicles with high added value and degree of processing is rapidly growing. This trend is particularly pronounced in the more sophisticated Latin American market.9
China is already able to offer developing countries not only air-conditioned and high-quality machinery and equipment, and at prices lower than those of competitors, but also

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ensure adequate banking support for relevant business segments 10. In particular, the practice of providing linked loans is significantly expanding. For example, two major Chinese banks have signed a $1.23 billion loan agreement with Brazil's Vale, which is developing the giant Carajas iron ore deposit in the Amazon Valley, to purchase 12 heavy-duty vessels from China to transport iron ore from Brazil to steel mills on China's east coast11.

There is a growing number of Chinese economic actors who find areas of application of financial and investment, and most importantly, productive capital in the "third world".

And this is another new feature of Beijing's behavior towards developing countries. The new cycle of economic cooperation between Beijing and the" third world "is also reflected in the expansion of Chinese investment in infrastructure and industry in developing countries, which was made possible by the rapid growth of the Chinese economy and the emergence of excess capital, as well as manufacturing companies that can"go abroad". Beijing started testing such a model of its global economic activity in Africa, but now it uses this practice all over TM 12.


At the beginning of China's reforms and policies of foreign economic openness, developing countries served as simple suppliers of raw materials for China. Today, the third World is becoming the main testing ground for the PRC's course to create its resource base abroad, in particular, by acquiring production and processing capacities there. The goal of this is to reduce considerable production costs in the country's own energy supply sector and thereby prevent the threat of a "raw material famine" in the country.

The global financial and economic crisis of 2008-2009 favored the implementation of China's "go abroad" strategy: shareholders affected by the global downturn were willing to sell their shares in third-world mining companies to the Chinese. Thus, by entering into several large-scale transactions during this period (at least $13 billion was invested in foreign assets in the oil industry alone), the PRC created the prerequisites for its enterprises to operate on their own natural resources, but extracted abroad, thereby easing the production burden on domestic subsurface resources. Today, Chinese industry relies heavily on imported raw materials.14
Africa is now playing a major role in achieving this goal. The main Chinese interest here is focused on the oil of the Black Continent. Africa accounts for more than 30% of China's oil imports. By 2015, the PRC intends to increase this figure to 45% 15 largely through the acquisition of rights to develop African fields and the purchase of oil production capacity.

In addition, especially in recent years, China has significantly expanded the practice of renting land plots in Africa, and on much more favorable terms than the EU or Middle Eastern states offer to the African side. By 2010, it had established about 150 agricultural enterprises on leased or purchased plots of land on the continent.16
Taking advantage of the opportunities created by the crisis, Beijing is widely practicing lending at low interest rates, without putting any political conditions on the recipient country. Capital investments are transferred to the central government, with which the relevant agreement is concluded. Most of it goes to pay for the services of Chinese companies that implement investment programs in infrastructure, construction, and others, as well as for the purchase of Chinese goods. Partner states receive virtually free infrastructure and access to high technologies, but they lose a significant part of their profits and jobs, because orders are received by Chinese firms that widely import their own labor force.17 This situation has displeased the host countries, and China is now looking for ways to provide parallel employment for the local population.

According to many experts, since TM survived the global economic crisis of 2008-2009 more easily than the West, this phenomenon can lead to a transformation of the global economy: growth in many developing countries will be provided by increasing domestic consumption, rather than income from foreign trade, which has experienced a downturn.18 And we are already seeing this on the example of the PRC.

During the crisis, China, both in the domestic and foreign economic fields, sought not so much to get a "red price" for products as not to lose markets, maintain sales and provide employment, not only for its citizens, but also for the local population hired by Chinese firms outside the PRC. 19 In order to gain a foothold on new trading platforms, Chinese corporations made some losses, which made it possible to guarantee the sale of goods produced abroad or exported from China itself.

As for China's commercial relations with certain regions of the "third world", it should be noted that the volume of Sino - African and Sino-Latin American trade dropped significantly in the crisis period of 2008-2009: from almost $107 billion. up to $90 billion. for Africa and with $140 billion. up to $123 billion. for Latin America 20. However, according to reputable analysts, this was caused by temporary phenomena and did not change the overall progressive trend in the development of bilateral trade and economic contacts.

Already in 2011, China's trade turnover with the African continent, according to preliminary estimates-

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China is the third largest trading partner of the Latin American continent (after the United States and the EU) and the first for Brazil and Chili23.


Another new development is that the developing world is to some extent becoming a testing ground for the renminbi as a potential global unit of account.

Thus, in 2009, China and Indonesia agreed on bilateral settlements in their own currencies in order to purchase goods from each other in the currency of the selling country. So far, the corresponding agreement (worth 100 billion yuan (approximately $14.6 billion)) it is concluded for three years, but if this practice proves successful, the contract will be extended. China has previously signed similar contracts with Malaysia for 80 billion yuan ($11.7 billion), South Korea for 180 billion yuan ($26.4 billion) and a number of other partners.24 The financial climate of the Sino-Argentine wind farms that developed by 2010 also allows an Argentine producer to sell grain to China for yuan, and then use it to buy agricultural equipment in China. By refusing to settle in dollars, the parties thereby reduce the risks of exchange rate instability and reduce the pressure on their own gold and foreign exchange reserves.25
In 2010, China opened up the domestic interbank bond market to foreign central and commercial banks that have yuan-denominated savings through international commercial transactions. As trade with developing countries expands, these savings can be invested in Chinese bonds.26
Also in 2010, the Chinese government ordered the country's funds that manage foreign currency assets to withdraw funds from risky dollar assets. In the previous crisis years, for the PRC, which still retains a significant part of its financial reserves in US securities, investing in the economies of developing countries became a reasonable anti-crisis solution due to the instability of the US dollar.27 For the same reason, Beijing intends to further increase investment in the economy of the global "South". The author estimates that by the end of 2011, Chinese investment in Latin America alone exceeded $30 billion.28 There is every reason to expect that this practice will continue in the future.

* * *

And, finally, the desire of other emerging giants-India and Brazil - to build priority partnership relations with the rest of the "third world" also introduces specifics in the relations between China and the global "South". The creation of the BRIC (now transformed into the BRICS after South Africa joined this structure) is one of the evidences of the growing competition of large "third world" countries for leadership in the developing zone.

1 Website of the Chinese Embassy in Russia -

2 In particular, the official Chinese website Reporting to the State Council of the People's Republic of China -

Yakovlev P. 3 Latin America in Beijing's Global Strategy -

4 As you know, in Chinese political thought, anti-hegemonism is understood as a line of opposition to the dictates in the world life of one state (superpower) or a subordinate bloc that seeks to impose its will on the rest of the world community.


6 For more information, see: Bazhanov E. The tangled triangle Russia-China-USA -

7 См.: China and Development in Africa -

8 См.:

Yakovlev P. 9 Decree. Op.

Dyer J. 10 World Economy: The Chinese Cycle -


12 See: J. Dyer. Edict op.

13 See: Tomberg R. Successes of China's African Strategy -

14 Ibid.


Medvedev R. 16 The rise of China and new hopes for Africa -

17 See: Tomberg R. Edict op.

Bespalova A. 18 About the new brave third world -

19 China and Development in Africa -

20 La República Popular China y America Latina y el Caribe: hacia una relación estrategica. CEPAL. Santiago de Chile: Impreso en Naciones Unidas. Mayo de 2010. P. 15, and -

21 evysit-150-mlrd-doll.html

22 It should be noted that the data on China's trade turnover with Latin American countries may differ significantly from the figures provided by Latin American sources, due to the peculiarities of the collection and processing of the statistical base by the Chinese side. Basically, the author relies on data from Chinese statistics and/or those that coincide with Chinese sources. The reference figure for China-Latin America trade turnover (for 2010) given here can also be confirmed by calculations (by extrapolating the trend) based on: CEPAL. International Merchandise Trade In Latin America and the Caribbean. Statistical Bulletin - handise_trade_LAC_20110112.pdf - p. 4. (Table 3. Data for January - September 2010).


24 China refuses to use the dollar for settlements in foreign transactions - The amounts in dollars are calculated by the author according to the exchange rate given in: Kommersant Money, 10.08.2009 -

25 See: J. Dyer. Edict. op. and

Dyer J. 26 Decree. Op.

Tomberg R. 27 Указ.соч. и

28 Author's extrapolation of the trend based on: Nikandrov N. China's Expansion in Latin America.


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