First among equals : the impact China's accession, to the WTO is going to have on the developing world

Crichton, Ruth (2002-03)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study explores the impact China's accession to the WTO and growing economic ascendancy in the multilateral trading system is going to have on the developing world. The central problem addressed is whether China's accession and growing stature is going to be a competitive threat to the developing world or will China emerge as a collaborator to the developing world and assist in redressing the inequalities of the system. Three themes emerge and are dealt with in this study. The first addresses China as a developing nation itself and its overall position in relation to the rest of the developing world. Then China's growing economic progress and its internal developments are looked at. Finally China is evaluated as collaborator or competitor to the developing world. A descriptive and analytical approach is employed in this study. The complexity and the interplay between the multiple levels of analysis emerge in this study. In order to best address the role China is to play, China has to be set in the greater multilateral context, the regional context and then evaluated in conjunction with the internal dynamics which are unfolding. These perspectives together are of the utmost importance in determining the future role China is to play in relation to the developing world. Whether it will emerge as a collaborator or a competitor to the already marginalised developing sector of the trading system. The regional level of analysis is playing an increasingly important role in the current system as the regional units are proving more effective trading units than sole national units. Thus this study pays particular attention to the region in a case study focusing on South East Asia in relation to China. The multilateral level of analysis addressing China's role in relation to the developing world and the answer to the question of whether China is going to be collaborator or competitor to the developing world is of particular importance in the current global context. The developing world is increasingly calling for the inequalities prevalent in the system to be addressed and China's position in the current context and in relation to this current issue will play an important role. Despite the optimism surrounding China and its possible future the internal dynamics and context cannot be underestimated or neglected. The unfolding domestic developments that take place at the hands of the current leadership will playa deciding role in China's future. As China is in a transition and attempting a mix between a market-based economic system encapsulated in a socialist system it is a precarious situation that needs the careful attention of the leadership to best manage China's internal and external developments. The inclusion thus of China's internal dynamics, therefore cannot be neglected and have been included in this study. Current trends regarding China emerge and it is possible to make assumptions on the basis of these trends as to what China's future role entails. This then is looked at as to the impact these trends are going to have on the various contexts that China finds itself in and most importantly the impact that it is likely to have on the developing world. The possibilities of different impacts being played out in different time frames emerge as the most likely to manifest themselves.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die impak wat China se aansluiting by die WHO, en sy groeiende ekonomiese mag in die multilaterale handelsisteem, op die ontwikkelende wêreld het. Die sentrale vraag wat hier aangespreek word, is of China se aansluiting by die WHO 'n bedreiging inhou vir ontwikkelende ekonomieë en of dié land, alternatiewelik, sy posisie kan gebruik om laasgenoemde ekonomieë by te staan in hul stryd teen die ongelykhede van die huidige sisteem. Drie hooftemas is hier ter sprake. Die eerste handeloor China se status as ontwikkelende land, en sy algemene posisie vis a vis ander ontwikkelende lande. Die tweede, fokus op China se ekonomiese en interne ontwikkelings, terwyl die derde tema meer lig werp op die vraag of China beskou moet word as bondgenoot of mededinger van die ontwikkelende wêreld. 'n Deskriptiewe en analitiese benadering is VIr die doeleindes van die studie aangewend. Die kompleksiteit en interaksie tussen verskillende vlakke van analise kom in die studie na vore. Om China se rol in konteks te plaas, is dit nodig om daarna te kyk vanuit 'n streeksperspektief en dit in verband te bring met interne ontwikkelinge binne dié land. Hierdie perspektiewe, tesame, is kardinaal vir 'n beter begrip van China se toekomstige rol met betrekking to ander ontwikkelende lande. 'n Streeksanalise raak toenemend belangrik in die lig van die feit dat regionale eenhede algaande meer effektief funksioneer as individuele nasionale state. In hierdie studie word daar verallig gewerp op Suid-oos Asië, waarvan China deel uitmaak. Op die multi-laterale vlak van analise is dit ook van belang om vas te stel hoe China saloptree teenoor ontwikkelende lande na sy toetredede tot die WHO. Die ontwikkelende wêreld pleit vir die regstel van strukturele ongelykhede, en China kan moontlik hier 'n deurslaggewende rol speel. Ten spyte van hoë verwagtinge aangaande China se toekomstige rol, kan die land se interne konteks en dinamika nie buite rekening gelaat word nie. Ontwikkelinge wat tans binne China plaasvind sal 'n defnitiewe impak op die land se toekoms hê. China se unieke mengsel van 'n markgerigte ekonomie, wat funksioneer binne 'n breër sosialistiese opset, sal deeglike beplanning rakende die landse binne en buitelandse sake van sy leiers verg. Om hierdie rede het die studie ook klem gelê op die interne politiek dinamiek van China. Spesifieke tendense rakende China is besig om te ontwikkel, en dit raak algaande makliker om sekere afleidings aangaande die land se toekomstige rol binne die internasionale konteks te maak. Hierdie tendense is veral van belang wanneer daar gekyk word na China se toekomstige verhoudinge met die ontwikkelende wêreld. Dit wil dus voorkom asof uiteenlopende resultate hulself gedurende verskillende tydsgrepe sal manifesteer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52848
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