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China: Neither imperialist nor part of the Global South

Claudio Katz :: 07.09.21

China’s geopolitical status is the subject of increasing controversy. Its presentation as an imperialist power is based on mistaken analogies that overlook the way in which its productive expansion is accompanied by geopolitical restraint. An imperial profile is defined by international acts of domination and not by economic parameters.
China exhibits the features of an empire in formation, but only in an embryonic form. The limits to its capitalist restoration affect the degree to which it resembles an empire. It profits from Latin America’s dependence on raw materials exports, but its intervention there is a far cry from that of the United States.
The tensions that capitalism generates in China are disguised by indulgent views that ignore the incompatibility of that system with an inclusive globalization. Its current trade and investment relations contradict calls for cooperation. China is not part of the Global South. It is grappling with the imbalances of a developed economy and the tensions of a creditor. Three possible scenarios can be envisaged for the medium term.
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