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China’s Economic Statecraft and the Different Responses of its Targets: A Comparative Analysis of South Korea and Taiwan
Economic statecraft,Economic inducement,Economic sanctions,China-Korea FTA,THAAD,ECFA,DPP,
|Publication Year :||2019|
相形之下，臺灣的私人企業以自下而上的方式引領兩岸關係的發展。儘管臺灣政府在90年代初期在一定程度上放鬆了企業對大陸投資的限制，但後來主要試圖通過政治考量控制兩岸貿易增長的速度。臺灣政府與企業之間相對寬鬆的關係以及 較為薄弱的國家鑲嵌自主性也影響了臺北對中國大陸的政策。這種機制在臺灣政府應對兩岸服務貿易協議(ECFA的後續條約之一)與中國大陸對民進黨勝選的非正式經濟制裁時, 又以政治防禦的形式而政黨之間不一致的方式出現。
This dissertation analyzes why China has deployed vast economic wealth to support its foreign policy goals since the first decade of the 21st century based on the conceptual framework of “economic statecraft.” With this analysis as a background, the research further explores why its two main targets, South Korea and Taiwan, took divergent responses to China’s economic statecraft despite their similar external conditions from the lens of comparative political economy.
By elaborating the changing keynotes of China’s foreign policy in the eras of Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, and Xi Jinping, this research argued that the Chinese leadership has strategically exercised economic statecraft to protect its core interests, while seeking to rise as a global power. While many countries are asymmetrically dependent on the Chinese market, China is significantly limited in the alliance system. Because this nation is able to control domestic corporations and society, economic statecraft has been frequently wielded as an effort to strengthen its international political influence beyond economic power. This strategy tends to be typified by several characteristic forms such as targeted sanctions on specific enterprises, and tourism.
In addition, this dissertation discovered that South Korea and Taiwan exhibited contrasting responses to China’s economic statecraft—both positive economic statecraft (economic inducements) and negative economic statecraft (informal economic sanctions)—focusing on the four case sets: (1) the China-South Korea FTA, (2) the economic retaliation against South Korea’s deployment of the THAAD missile defense system, (3) the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement between mainland China and Taiwan, and (4) the informal economic sanctions against Taiwan’s DPP election. In response to these issues, the South Korean government tended to lean toward economic pragmatism in a unified manner regardless of regime change, which focused on protecting and maximizing the state’s economic interests while maintaining national security. By contrast, the Taiwanese government displayed a fluctuating tendency in a disunified manner in accordance with the ruling party, and took politically defensive stances rather than short-term economic interests.
With regard to the two targets’ different responses to China’s economic statecraft, I argue that their responses were related to their different political-economic attributes from a comparative perspective. The government-business relations and the state’s embedded autonomies, which were shaped during each of their developmental periods, and the motivations and initial impetus for the development of economic relations with China in the early 1990s, influenced the ways the two governments made subsequent policy decisions with the path dependence.
Seoul began to promote the development of its relations with China with the initial aim of economic pragmatism and offsetting political risks (hedging) from a top-down approach. The close relationship between the government and business and the state’s embedded autonomy in the business sector also affect the South Korean government’s China policy decision making. These features continued to influence the decision of the South Korean government’s China policy in promoting the China-South Korea FTA from 2004 to 2015, and in taking countermeasures against the economic retaliation due to the THAAD in 2016-2017.
By contrast, Taiwan’s private sector led the development of cross-strait relations from a bottom-up approach, and the Taiwanese government mainly attempted to put the brakes on the pace of cross-strait trade growth due to their political consideration, although they at intervals relaxed their constraints on investment in the mainland. Taiwan’s relatively loose relationship between the government and business and weak embedded autonomy of the state also affected Taipei’s policy toward the mainland. These initial mechanisms were also reproduced as a political defense of the government in response to the CSSTA negotiation, one of the follow-up treaties of the ECFA, and China’s informal economic sanctions against the DPP election in a disunified manner.
This study has theoretical implications as it conceptualized China’s intentional use of economic means for political objectives, and enlarged the scope of research on China’s economic statecraft through a comparative study. At the same time, the comparative political economic perspective presented in this study could complement the point that a neo-realist view does not explain the target countries’ distinctive responses. This dissertation also may enrich research on developmental states by offering a new perspective, which relates to the foreign policy domain. In addition, it could have policy implications for China’s target countries, who are attempting to prepare countermeasures as a way to understand the background, intentions, and new trends of China’s economic statecraft.
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