In recent years, China’s economic coercion tactics have become increasingly prevalent in the developing world. The country has been accused of using its economic power to coerce smaller nations into accepting its political agenda.
According to a report by the International Crisis Group (ICG), China has been using its economic might to exert pressure on developing countries to tow its line. This is evidenced by the way China has been pushing for its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project, which is a massive infrastructure development plan aimed at connecting China with the rest of Asia and Europe.
The report highlights that the BRI has become a tool for China to exercise its economic influence over developing nations, with Beijing offering loans and investment in return for political and economic concessions. This has led to concerns that China is using the BRI to expand its sphere of influence and challenge the established world order.
The report also points out that China’s economic coercion has been most evident in Africa, where the country has been investing heavily in infrastructure projects, such as railways, ports, and power plants. These projects are often funded by Chinese loans, which come with strings attached, such as using Chinese companies for the construction and maintenance of the infrastructure.
Critics argue that this has led to a situation where African countries have become indebted to China, which has given Beijing significant leverage over these nations. In some cases, China has used this leverage to pressure African countries to support its political agenda, such as recognizing Taiwan as part of China. Overall, China’s economic coercion in the developing world is a cause for concern, as it has the potential to upset the existing global order and lead to a new era of great power competition. The international community must work together to ensure that China’s economic power is not used to undermine the sovereignty and autonomy of smaller nations.