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China ‘sends message’ to U.S. allies with economic statecraft

In this file photo, late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping is displayed on screen during a gala show ahead of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing on June 28, 2021.
FPI / August 9, 2021

The communist government in China has unleashed an economic pressure campaign which aims to punish U.S. allies in Asia who refuse “to fold to its demands,” a U.S. Air Force report said.

The report, “The War of the Yuan: Weaponizing the World’s Second Largest Economy,” outlines what the authors say is a Chinese economic pressure campaign targeting South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia which is designed “to send a message” to the U.S. partners.

“Now established as a major player in the global economy, the [People’s Republic of China] has weaponized its market share through economic statecraft designed to coerce and punish nations that stand up to malign Chinese influence,” states the report issued last month by the Pacific Air Force’s Strategic Competition Team.

China, which boasts a $14 trillion gross domestic product (GDP), was the only major world economy to grow during the Covid pandemic in 2020, the report noted.

Beijing launched a campaign of economic intimidation against South Korea in 2016, the report said. The campaign cost Seoul an estimated $7.5 billion – a loss of .05% of the country’s GDP. The economic attack came in response to South Korea’s decision to host the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system.

In retaliation, the Chinese government stopped group tours to South Korea, refused to give licenses for Korean video games in China, halted K-pop concerts and shut down Chinese locations of the South Korea Lotte supermarket chain.

Geostrategy-Direct reported in September 2017 that Chinese officials at different levels had at the time issued directives to large tour agencies aimed at reducing by half the number of tour groups visiting Japan.

The Chinese government has demonstrated a pattern for weaponizing tourism to punish foreign countries whose governments resist China’s aggressive geopolitical stances.

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FPI, Free Press International
deng100 by Ng Han Guan is licensed under AP

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