Explaining Foreign Support for China's Global Economic Leadership

69 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2018 Last revised: 15 Jun 2020

See all articles by J. Lawrence Broz

J. Lawrence Broz

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science; Center for Commerce and Diplomacy

Zhiwen Zhang

Sun Yat-sen University-School of International Relations

Gaoyang Wang

Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU)

Date Written: August 3, 2019

Abstract

We analyze the factors that increase the likelihood that other nations will follow China’s global economic leadership. While our theoretical framework incorporates the conventional argument that China pulls in followers with economic benefits, we focus on grievances with the current global order that have the effect of pushing countries toward the rising new leader. We find that grievances about global financial instability are particularly important push factors. Our results show that countries that have experienced more financial crises, more variable capital account policies, more volatile portfolio capital outflows, and more social unrest during IMF programs are more likely to support China’s global leadership than leaders of nations that have been less exposed to these problems. However, we find no evidence that grievances about global governance, or grievances about discriminatory U.S. trade policies, are related to foreign support for China’s global economic leadership. Overall, our evidence is consistent with the interpretation that leaders want to reform and preserve the WTO and the IMF, which have worked reasonably well for them under U.S. leadership. At the same time, they have incentives to follow China’s economic leadership on capital flows, emphasizing long-term infrastructure and development finance over short-term flows which, under the current order, have imposed large costs on their economies.

Suggested Citation

Broz, J. Lawrence and Zhang, Zhiwen and Wang, Gaoyang, Explaining Foreign Support for China's Global Economic Leadership (August 3, 2019). International Organization. Published online 10 June 2020. , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3138278 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3138278

J. Lawrence Broz (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://pages.ucsd.edu/~jlbroz/

Center for Commerce and Diplomacy ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://ccd.ucsd.edu/

Zhiwen Zhang

Sun Yat-sen University-School of International Relations ( email )

Guangzhou, Guangdong
China

Gaoyang Wang

Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) ( email )

Guangzhou, Guangdong
China

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