Air Force: China Weaponizing Economic Clout To Coerce US Allies

Bill Gertz 1July 30, 20213min
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China’s communist government is engaged in a strategy of economic coercion that threatens to undermine the rules-based international order, according to a U.S. Air Force analysis.

The report, “The War of the Yuan: Weaponizing the World’s Second Largest Economy,” outlines what the authors say is a Chinese economic pressure campaign targeting South Korea, Philippines and Australia, designed “to send a message to U.S. partners refusing to fold to its demands.”

“Now established as a major player in the global economy, the [People’s Republic of China] has weaponized its market share through economic statecraft designed to coerce and punish nations that stand up to malign Chinese influence,” states a report by the Pacific Air Force’s Strategic Competition Team.

“As the PRC continues to employ its economic might in harmful ways, it is vitally important that the United States maintain a unified front with its allies and partners, provide a viable alternative to the PRC’s debt-trap diplomacy, and continue to champion adherence to established and agreed-upon international rules and norms,” the report concludes

China boasts a $14 trillion gross domestic product (GDP) after its economy was first opened in 1978 and is the only major world economy to grow during the pandemic in 2020, the report said.

Against South Korea in 2016, the report said Beijing launched a campaign of economic intimidation that cost Seoul an estimated $7.5 billion – a loss of .05% of the country’s GDP. The economic attack came in response to South Korea’s decision to host the Pentagon’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system.

In retaliation, the Chinese government stopped group tours to South Korea, refused to give licenses for Korean video games in China, halted K-pop concerts and shut down Chinese locations of the South Korea Lotte supermarket chain.

Author : Bill Gertz

Source : Washington Times : Air Force report: China ‘weaponizing’ economic clout to coerce U.S. allies