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How Smaller Countries Can Negotiate More Effectively With China

China’s enormous size affords it tremendous advantages in its relations with smaller countries, particularly developing states in the global south. Beijing regularly leverages its huge economy, growing military power, and diplomatic muscle in international organizations to both cajole and even coerce other countries in pursuit of its own interests.

China’s behavior towards smaller states is by no means exceptional. In fact, it’s quite standard among the world’s major powers. The more pressing question, though, is how do these smaller countries respond to a more assertive China? In many instances, there is no response. Many developing countries have been slow to shift their focus from traditional power centers in Washington, London and Brussels to Beijing and, as such, have not built up the internal competencies within their governments to effectively negotiate with China.

But in Argentina, that’s starting to change. Santiago Bustelo is a China advisor in the Ministry of Development who brings almost a decade of experience in Chinese politics and economics to help the government in Buenos Aires form a more effective engagement strategy with Beijing.

Santiago joins Eric & Cobus to discuss the particular challenges that smaller states like Argentina face in crafting a China policy.

Show Notes:

About Santiago Bustelo:

Santiago Bustelo currently is a PhD candidate in International Politics at Fudan University (Shanghai, China) and Advisor on the Cooperation Agenda with China at the Ministry of Productive Development of the Argentine Republic. He holds a Master´s Degree in Public Policies, Strategies and Development at the Institute of Economics of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, having conducted research about China under the guidance of Professor Antonio Barros de Castro. His main academic papers turn to the study of development models in Latin America and China from a comparative perspective, with an emphasis on industrial policy and innovation systems.

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