Written by Elizabeth Economy, Michael Levi
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
In the past thirty years, China has transformed from an impoverished country where peasants comprised the largest portion of the populace to an economic power with an expanding middle class and more megacities than anywhere else on earth. This remarkable transformation has required, and will continue to demand, massive quantities of resources. Like every other major power in modern history, China is looking outward to find them.
In By All Means Necessary, Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael Levi explore the unrivaled expansion of the Chinese economy and the global effects of its meteoric growth. China is now engaged in a far-flung quest, hunting around the world for fuel, ores, water, and land for farming, and deploying whatever it needs in the economic, political, and military spheres to secure the resources it requires. Chinese traders and investors buy commodities, with consequences for economies, people, and the environment around the world. Meanwhile the Chinese military aspires to secure sea lanes, and Chinese diplomats struggle to protect the country's interests abroad. And just as surely as China's pursuit of natural resources is changing the world--restructuring markets, pushing up commodity prices, transforming resource-rich economies through investment and trade--it is also changing China itself. As Chinese corporations increasingly venture abroad, they must navigate various political regimes, participate in international markets, and adopt foreign standards and practices, which can lead to wide-reaching social and political ramifications at home.
Clear, authoritative, and provocative, By All Means Necessary is a sweeping account of where China's pursuit of raw materials may take the country in the coming years and what the consequences will be--not just for China, but for the whole world.
"[A] wide-ranging and richly informed look at how the rapid growth of the world's most-populous country is affecting the global economy... According to the authors, in other words, China's supposedly pending economic takeover of the world's resources is more hype than reality. Ms. Economy and Mr. Levi... range from commodity to commodity and sector to sector to show that China's economy and culture are being changed at least as much by the world as China is exerting transformative change upon it." --Howard W. French, The Wall Street Journal
"This is the best analysis to date of the three-way economic and security game among China, other countries, and global market forces. With trenchant policy recommendations, it should be read by all those interested in China's impact on the world." --Dennis Blair, former Director of National Intelligence and Commander in Chief, Pacific
"By All Means Necessary is a valuable corrective to the hype--both positive and negative-- that typically accompanies accounts of China's global search for natural resources. Economy and Levi combine an understanding of Chinese politics and economic policy with a detailed knowledge of different global markets, from oil to ore. The result is a myth-busting book that offers insights and advice for policymakers, business leaders, and anyone interested in China and the world." --Anne-Marie Slaughter, President, the New America Foundation
"Will the 21st century be dominated by China in the same way that the last century was dominated by the United States? Economy and Levi have provided a compelling assessment of how supercharged and commodity-intensive growth in China has led to an unprecedented global buying spree for resources as varied as oil and gas, industrial metals and rare earth minerals, ores and coal, as well as farmland. China's foreign policy and global geopolitics have been influenced in tangible ways, but they argue convincingly that Beijing's motivations are not nefarious and the global system will find ways to curb feared excesses, even as the Middle Kingdom moves to secure the territorial seas around it and build a significant naval presence." --Edward L. Morse, Head of Global Commodities Research, Citigroup
"If we are to intelligently manage China's resurgence, there are few areas more deserving of our attention than China's voracious global appetite for natural resources. In this well-written and insightful new study the authors vividly limn how China's restless quest for rejuvenation is simultaneously upsetting the old world order and demanding that the other countries develop new ways of understanding and interacting with it. For anyone wishing to come to terms with this aspect of China's rise, and the policy choices it raises for countries like the US, this is the go-to read." --Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, The Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society
About the Author
Elizabeth C. Economy is the C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director of Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. An expert on Chinese domestic and foreign policy, her most recent book was The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China's Future.
Michael Levi is the David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow and Director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change at Council on Foreign Relations. An expert on the global politics and economics of energy, resources, and the environment, his most recent book was The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America's Future.
File Size: 1292 KB
Print Length: 289 pages
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