China’s Quest to Grow by Tapping Resources Abroad
HOUSTON, April 8, 2014 — China expert and CV Star fellow Elizabeth Economy spoke to local business and community leaders on Tuesday at an Asia Society Texas Center luncheon about her new book, By All Means Necessary: How China’s Resource Quest is Changing the World.
“Every shift in China’s economy will have profound impact on China’s resource quest and we have to look at all the complicated factors to all of that. We need to keep abreast of what’s changing in China,” Economy said.
During her research, Economy stated that she encountered many myths surrounding China’s resource quest, some misunderstood or untrue. These assumptions ranged from China’s resource quest being unprecedented or unique, to the country having unfair advantages because of the role of the State, low labor and financing costs, and the lack of a foreign-corrupt policy.
Economy argued, however, that every rising power in history, from Brazil, to the U.S., to Japan, have looked outside of its borders for a wide variety of commodities. For a country that supports 1.35 billion people, it is not unusual for China to be consuming 11-12% of the world’s resources. Additionally, like other countries, China also faces competition from state-owned companies and are restricted by the same regulations, even if they are poorly enforced.
But, she also noted that China’s state-owned companies seem to be more contentiously greeted than other multinational firms when they enter markets, citing community reactions in South America and Africa as examples.