What Economic Slowdown? Asia Looks at China

Asia Policy Brief April 2016

  • 1. edition 2016, 8 pp (PDF)
  • Free of charge

Has China’s recent economic slowdown in any way moderated its interest in building economic links with its Asian neighbors or its assertiveness on territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas?

In this issue of the Asia Policy Brief, Jabin T. Jacob, Assistant Director and Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) in Delhi, India, looks at the interactions of some key Asian nations with China in the context of both the centrality of China’s economy to Asian growth and its military-backed assertiveness in the region.

He argues that from the point of view of China’s neighbors in Asia, it is inconceivable that even a China severely weakened by economic slowdown, howsoever one might define “weakened” or “slowdown,” will cease to be a significant political and military actor in the region. “If anything, if the downturn gets worse, China’s leaders might rely still more on military threats to stoke nationalism and to deflect attention from domestic problems.”