China’s evolving role in global affairs has spawned a growing debate among policymakers, academics, and citizens around the world. While China portrays its rise as contributing to global prosperity and peace, many observers outside of China, including in the United States worry that China’s assertive turn on international economic and security issues has the potential to jeopardize the existing regional and global order. These conflicting paradigms have led to oversimplifications of China’s international impact and influence, both of which neglect the interplay between economics and geopolitics. How can a more balanced understanding of China’s international political economy, in particular the relationship between economic development and global security, be constructed?

In order to explore this question and provide some answers, Matt Ferchen presented the findings of his new paper, “China, Economic Development, and Global Security: Bridging the Gaps.” Jennifer Staats moderated.

Matt Ferchen

Matt Ferchen specializes in China’s political-economic relations with emerging economies. At the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, he runs a program on China’s economic and political relations with the developing world, including Latin America.

Jennifer Staats

Jennifer Staats is the director for China programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where she focuses on China’s role with regard to peace and conflict dynamics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.