The Way under the Heavens: A Comparative study of four cases and how strategic culture forms Chinese economic statecraft towards Australia and The United States of America
This is a multiple comparative case study aiming to inquire into the level and characteristics of deeper economic relations with China affect China’s Economic Statecraft strategy towards Australia and the United States of America (US). Informed by Strategic Culture this thesis investigates the cases of Australias ban on Huaweis 5G equipment and calls for the Covid-19 inquiry and the US ban on Huawei and the trade war between China and the US under then President Donald Trump. The results show that China adapted its responses to both case studies depending on its relative position of strength, which Alastair Iain Johnston calls the flexibility axiom in Chinese strategic culture or Quan Bian. When the opportune moments presented itself China attempted at applying coercive strategies aiming at pressuring Australia to deter from its path, but ultimately failed in meeting its goals due to China's interdependence on Australian natural resources. When interacting with the US during Huaweis ban and trade war, China displayed an accommodationist/defensive grand strategic preference applying a diplomatic approach and tit-for-tat strategies towards the US. Concluded to be due to economic inferiority relative to the US at those moments in time. This thesis concludes that there are indications that China ultimately will forcefully use its economic powers where possible to coerce other nations into the fold.