China's Trade Opening: Implications for Regional Stability

By Krawitz, Howard M. | Strategic Forum, August 2002 | Go to article overview

China's Trade Opening: Implications for Regional Stability


Krawitz, Howard M., Strategic Forum


Key Points

China's entry into the World Trade Organization could have a decisive impact on that country's long-term development as well as on its relations with Asian neighbors and the United States.

A best-case scenario posits a China confident of its role in the region, valuing stability and prosperity. A Chinese middle class could arise. Prospects would be good for mutually beneficial U.S.-China relations and for Chinese social and political reforms.

Although a strong China could become a regional aggressor, that prospect is unlikely. It is also unrealistic to expect that China will not modernize its military and use it to enhance its international influence. A strong, stable China is likely to cooperate with Asian neighbors to maintain regional peace and stability.

A worst-case scenario has Beijing failing at sustainable reform and finding itself hard-pressed to manage resulting economic and social ills and civil unrest. The leadership might encourage nationalism and military aggressiveness to ensure its survival. Internationally, China could become mired in a downward spiral of cheating, trade disputes, sanctions, and retaliation. U.S.-China relations overall would suffer, raising odds for conflict over sensitive issues such as Taiwan.

China will show little change in the short run. Encouraging domestic reforms ultimately serves U.S. interests, but strong doses of realism, clarity, consistency, and patience will be required.

**********

In late 2001, China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO), a dramatic step that marks not only the end of a 15-year odyssey for Beijing but also the beginning of a new phase in the country's internal development and its relations with the outside world. It may sound odd to suggest that joining the WTO--an organization focused on rules of conduct for trade and commerce--will influence not only China's economy but also its political, military, and social development, as well as its interaction with the United States. Yet China's efforts to play by WTO rules could affect its internal development far more extensively than has been the case with many new member nations.

Most WTO entrants must grapple with difficult economic and social issues at accession. But China will have to come to grips with such issues on a massive scale. Geographic size, infrastructure, and population will make adjustments more difficult, as will the unbalanced nature of the Chinese economy. China will have to reconcile conflicting economic systems (socialist versus market-based) and varying levels of domestic development (technologically advanced and internationally competitive versus Third-World) as it seeks to develop a new hybrid economy that can live by the rules of the global trading system.

Predicting how China will respond to domestic conditions created by WTO requirements is difficult. Beijing clearly will face numerous pressures from WTO benchmarks and timetables for achieving compliance; from the shocks that such compliance may create for the country's economic, financial, and social welfare systems; and from the near-certainty of rising domestic political opposition to WTO-mandated reforms, particularly at the regional and local levels.

Beijing's management of domestic politics during this turbulent phase will decisively influence its ultimate ability to transform China into a major economic power. Pockets of opposition to joining the WTO existed throughout the accession process, even among the leadership. Some opposition stemmed from political and ideological differences. But much was due to the regional grassroots economic and social issues dividing the "several Chinas" that exist in the People's Republic of China (PRC) today--eastern/western China, urban/rural China, rapidly developing/stagnating China--and the fears that WTO membership will make things even worse for those trapped in these several Chinas. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

China's Trade Opening: Implications for Regional Stability
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.