Revisiting the Resurrected Debate About Chinese Neocolonialism

Jean-Marc F. Blanchard
Publication Date: 
February 8th, 2018

This Op-Ed originally appeared in the February 8, 2018 online edition of The Diplomat. It engages the persistant debate, revived recently for various reasons, about putative Chinese neocolonialism. It specifically tackles the following five arguments used to paint Chinese companies, investment, and infrastructure as neocolonialist: (1) Chinese connectivity infrastructure essentially are initiatives to send more resources to the People's Republic of China (PRC); (2) Chinese projects specifically and investments more generally insufficiently use local suppliers and partners; (3) PRC companies and projects contribute little to job creation; (4) China does not share important technology; and (5) China's cheap exports, which will increase with its infrastructure projects, destroy local manufacturing. While recognizing the legitimacy of a number of the critics claims, it points out that many of their proposed solutions are problematic. This piece is available at: Copyright remains with the original copyright holders.