PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2014, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (3): 289-302.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2014.03.001

• Special Column of Geopolitics •     Next Articles

Geopolitical and geo-economic situation around and China’s strategies

MAO Hanying1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. China Science Center of International Eurasian Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100107, China
  • Received:2013-02-01 Revised:2013-03-01 Online:2014-03-25 Published:2014-03-24

Abstract: Based on the introduction of representative Western geopolitical and geoeconomic theories of the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century, this paper analyzes the characteristics of historical and contemporary geopolitics and geoeconomics in China's surrounding areas. It also discusses the basic patterns and trends of geopolitical and geoeconomic situations in the area. The main patterns and characteristics are as follows. China's geopolitical relationship is close and geoeconomic relationship develops at a relatively rapid pace with northern neighboring countries. Its geopolitical relationship continuously develops and prospect of geoeconomic cooperation is very promising with neighboring countries to the west. On the other hand, China's geopolitical relationship with countries to the southwest is very fragile but the geoeconomic relationship has great potential to develop. In the south, China's geopolitical and geoeconomic relationship with neighboring countries is overall healthy, but the issue of South China Sea can be a potential cause of instability. Last but not the least, the geopolitical situation in the area to the east has sensitive and complex hotspots, whereas the structure of geoeconomics maintains relatively stable. This paper puts forward strategies and countermeasures in order to improve the geopolitical and geoeconomic situations, which can be summarized as "Uniting in the North, Advancing in the West, Cooperating in the South, and Extending in the East". More specifically, "Uniting in the North" focuses on building a stable zone geopolitically based on mutual trust, economic and trade ties, science and technology, culture and other fields of cooperation with countries including Russia and Mongolia. "Advancing in the West" means expanding the economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchanges with five Central Asian countries, Russia and West Asia, Eastern Europe and the European Union countries through the development of the "Silk Road Economic Belt", which vigorously promotes the vast development of geoeconomics and creates a favorable geopolitical environment for Western China. "Cooperating in the South" aims at further strengthening traditional cooperative relations with South Asia and Southeast Asia countries by means of negotiation and dialogue, gradually resolving the Sino-Indian border dispute and territorial disputes in South China Sea. It also means promoting regional cooperation between China and ASEAN countries and countries located in the South Asia subcontinent, deepening the strategic friendship relations. All goals under "Cooperating in the South" cannot be accomplished without the development of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, the China-Burma-India-Bangladesh economic corridor and the twenty-first century maritime Silk Road. At last, "Extending in the East" places emphasis on breaking the first and second island chain encircled China set by USA and Japan and makes an ambitious plan that captures the mastery of the seas in 2020.

Key words: China, geoeconomics, geopolitical strategy, geopolitics, neighboring countries

CLC Number: 

  • K901.4