February 24, 2021

Economic defence alliances may help deter economic warfare

By Anthony Vinci

The world is entering a period of rapid evolution in economic statecraft driven by the rise of China, economic devastation from COVID-19 and geopolitical flux within the US, EU, UK, and other nations. Such evolution is driving new offensive approaches and in turn this must drive the development of defensive measures by democratic states.

There is widespread recognition that the current national security competition with China is as much economic as military. Chinese economic threats range across a spectrum from traditional economic competition, such as Made in China 2025, to geopolitical power plays like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to outright systematic theft of intellectual property.

China is also using its economic power to achieve geopolitical ends through the threat and execution of unilateral, punitive tariffs and other coercive methods.

China is also using its economic power to achieve geopolitical ends through the threat and execution of unilateral, punitive tariffs and other coercive methods. This has been amply demonstrated through its recent interactions with Australia, for example, in which the Chinese government used tariffs and other economic weapons on key Australian exports like beef, barley, and wine to punish the nation for its investigation of China’s role in the spread of COVID-19. Similar coercive measures have been pursued against Sweden, Germany, and other nations.

Nor is it just China that uses economic power in such a fashion. Russia regularly uses its control over the flow of oil and natural gas -and more recently vaccines – to neighbouring countries like Ukraine to further its geopolitical goals.

Read the full article from LSE Business Review.

  • Reports
    • December 7, 2021
    Containing Crisis

    As the United States and China seek to manage an increasingly tense relationship, both sides have turned to coercive economic statecraft as a core part of their broader foreig...

    By Emily Kilcrease, Emily Jin & Rachel Ziemba

  • Podcast
    • November 4, 2021
    A techno-diplomacy strategy for telecommunications in the Indo-Pacific

    Head of ANU National Security College Professor Rory Medcalf and Director of ANU Tech Policy Design Centre Johanna Weaver join Lisa Curtis and Martijn Rasser from the Center f...

    By Lisa Curtis & Martijn Rasser

  • Commentary
    • September 22, 2021
    Sharper: Indo-Pacific Partnerships & Allies

    Through the Quad and the newly minted, yet controversial, AUKUS agreement, Washington is increasing its focus and resources on the Indo-Pacific region. The White House is also...

    By Anna Pederson

  • Commentary
    • Le Grand Continent
    • September 22, 2021
    Unite technodemocracies

    Technology has become a central element in today's geopolitical competition. Yet there is still no coordination forum among the world's technodemocracies....

    By Richard Fontaine & Jared Cohen

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia