China's move to preferential trading: A new direction in China's diplomacy

John Ravenhill, Yang Jiang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)


    China was a latecomer to the preferential trading bandwagon that has swept East Asia in the years since the financial crises. The Chinese government was unwilling to go down the path of negotiating bilateral and minilateral agreements until the terms of its accession to the World Trade Organization were finalized. Since then, it has become one of the most active participants in the negotiation of preferential trading arrangements, currently being engaged in negotiations with more than 20 countries. The paper will address the following questions about China's move to preferential trade: (a) What forces are driving China's approach to the negotiation of preferential trade agreements? (b) To what extent is it possible to untangle economic and political motivations in China's choice of partners for PTA negotiations? And, which economic interests are being pursued most aggressively? (c) How are conflicting domestic interests reconciled in the policy-making process? (d) To what extent will the new PTAs facilitate Chinese-dominated production networks in the regions? (e) What overall impact will the PTAs have on the Chinese economy?

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-46
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Contemporary China
    Issue number58
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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