China als Motor der asiatischen Integration?

  • Hanns Günther Hilpert (Autor/in)


Along with the economic rise of China, Asia's regional economic interdependence is also increasing. This article identifies four structural components inherent in this process: firstly, the increasing economic weight of China; secondly, the deterioration of China's terms of trade favouring countries with a (China) complementary supply structure; thirdly, an emerging spatial core-periphery structure in Asia; and fourthly, the increasing divergence between Asia's advanced and developing countries, thereby making it more difficult for the latter group of countries to catch up industrially. Overall, China's rise is having an ambivalent effect on Asia's economic integration. On the one hand China is driving trade and FDI integration, while on the other China is spurring on economic divergence in Asia. The article concludes that China is fairly unlikely to play a leading political role in Asia's regionalism for various reasons. Firstly, a coherent regional cohesion policy countering the divergence trends is missing, and secondly, widespread security reservations induce hedging activities directed against China. Thirdly, a reliable institutional framework for integration is lacking.