The intertwined geopolitics and geoeconomics of hopes/fears:China’s triple economic bubbles and the ‘One Belt One Road’ imaginary

Sum, Ngai-Ling (2019) The intertwined geopolitics and geoeconomics of hopes/fears:China’s triple economic bubbles and the ‘One Belt One Road’ imaginary. Territory, Politics, Governance, 7 (4). pp. 528-552. ISSN 2162-2671

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Abstract

This paper adopts a discursive-cum-material approach to China's new 'One Belt One Road' (OBOR) geostrategic imaginary and its development through the intertwining of geopolitics and geoeconomics of hopes and fears. It first contextualizes this development after the 2008 financial crisis when China promoted a vast stimulus package that inflated existing property and infrastructure bubbles and fuelled another in finance. Resulting debates over crisis management enabled an incoming President Xi to articulate a set of hope-based discourses that came to include 'China Dream', 'New Normal' and the OBOR. Familiar cartographic statecraft techniques and novel spatial metaphors were used to promote the OBOR's allegedly 'win-win' strategy discursively. The OBOR imaginary was translated materially, and importantly, into policies that promoted a grand transregional 'spatial fix' to postpone China's over-accumulation crises. This strategy is consolidating a China-oriented infrastructural mode of growth in production, finance and security. As this absorbs ever more productive and financial capital, we see the emergence of contradictions, antagonisms and conflicts, especially in the use of bilateral loan-debt contractuality to appropriate strategic infrastructure. The paper concludes with a call for an affective turn examining the intertwining of geoeconomics and geopolitics in the analysis of transregional spatial fixes.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Territory, Politics, Governance
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Territory, Politics, Governance on 5/10/2018, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21622671.2018.1523746
ID Code:
128620
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
15 Aug 2019 08:55
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
26 Sep 2020 05:38