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Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional

versão impressa ISSN 0034-7329versão On-line ISSN 1983-3121

Resumo

VU, Truong-Minh. Between system maker and privileges taker: the role of China in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. Rev. bras. polít. int. [online]. 2014, vol.57, n.spe, pp.157-173. ISSN 0034-7329.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0034-7329201400210.

Utilizing China's leadership projects in the Great Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) as a case study, this paper aims to investigate whether China qualifies as an international leader. This work argues that its geographic position and economic rise allow China to be a "system maker and privilege taker," which is a dual role forming in economic-political relations in the GMS in the last ten years. China is among major driving forces to set up an economic zone in GMS. Growing Chinese regional power is intimately related to the creation of various hubs connecting regional transportation, communication and energy systems that foster the economic development of this region. However, China also proves dark sides of rising powers which take advantage of their privileges to gain benefits. As a "system maker" with its own position and capability, China has notably benefited from building hydropower systems. More importantly, while China is pursuing its benefits and privileges, its hydropower projects have caused some negative effects for the ecosystem in the region. The inflation of dam constructions in both China and GMS countries is raising concerns about using natural resources of the Mekong River. Our concluding part addresses the pressing need to start a serious discussion on the balance between national interests and regional solidarity within the formulation of Chinese foreign policy in GMS.

Palavras-chave : China's rise; Great Mekong Sub-Region; system maker, privilege taker.

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