Ugandan and Chinese workers at an oil field in western Uganda
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China’s guerrilla strategy in a fragmenting global economy

Faced with perceived containment, China is pursuing a set of economic engagement strategies that resemble guerrilla tactics to strengthen its global position. Whether it succeeds will shape the future of globalization and the relationship between national security and the global economy.

Wary of unfettered, US-style globalization, Beijing’s quest for global economic power will rest on very different fundamentals compared to those pursued by Washington in the past. As China prepares for growing rivalry and contestation with the US and its allies, Beijing is resorting to guerrilla strategies to reconcile its security-centered goals and internal doctrine of a Marxist-Leninist economic system with ambitions for greater global economic influence, MERICS Chief Economist Max Zenglein and Analyst Francois Chimits write in this paper commissioned by the Hinrich Foundation. These strategies allow China to avoid direct confrontation with large adversaries by targeting smaller sections of their resources to gradually deplete the larger opponent. 

You can download the analysis as a PDF here:

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This analysis was produced with support from the Hinrich Foundation.

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