PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (3): 265-275.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.03.001

• Reviews •     Next Articles

Progress of research on impacts of economic approaches on geopolitical structure and spatial expression

Yuan CAO1,2(), Yuejing GE1,3, Shufang WANG1, Zhiding HU3   

  1. 1. School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    2. School of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison 53706, USA
    3. Collaborative Innovation Center for Geopolitical Setting of Southwest China and Borderland Development, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China
  • Received:2015-07-01 Accepted:2015-12-01 Online:2016-03-25 Published:2016-03-25
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41171097, No.41401157;National Key Technology Support Program, No.2012BAK12B03;Scholarship Program of China Scholarship Council, No.201406040147


With the rise of China's economic and political power, many large countries in the world shift their strategic focus on Asia and try to influence China's regional political economic environment through various economic organizations and unions, which result in a complicated environment for China's development. China responds to the situation through the creation of the "Belt and Road Initiative", Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and BRICS Development Bank. In this article, we discuss the mechanism of influence of international economic organizations, economic unions, and national economic interdependence on geopolitical structure and their spatial expression at the global, regional, and national levels. The results show that: asymmetric economic interdependence can influence national power and power distribution in world geopolitical structure, with the spatial expression of regional conflicts and change of spatial scope of influence of countries. International economic organizations and unions can influence global and regional geopolitical structure by rebalancing power, with a spatial expression of growth of influence, mosaic distribution, and spatial expansion. Within China there has been little research on how China can enhance its geopolitical influence and improve the geopolitical environment by economic approaches. In the future, research should focus on how to transform economic interdependence into effective geopolitical influence; how to expand geopolitical space by using international economic organizations and unions; the "Belt and Road" strategy, especially with regard to the spatial trends and country situations in areas that the initiative involves; and research on multi-scale economic approaches and application of quantitative models to provide theoretical support and empirical evidence for the development of China's geopolitical strategy.

Key words: economic approaches, geopolitical structure, economic interdependence, international economic organizations, economic unions