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Is China’s Success Coming at the Expense of it’s Neighbours

During the decade after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, China was generally seen throughout East Asia as a friendly alternative power-center to the American-led Washington-consensus that told countries in trouble they had to force their banks to declare their bad loans and clean up the political influence of big finance – commands which, of course, the US completely ignored when its own banking & insurance sectors went over the cliff in Black September 2008.


But in the last couple of years, some of China’s neighbors are beginning to wonder if “friendly uncle” is more of a “roaring dragon.”

Concern is particularly acute among China’s economic partners to the south.


After a decade of trade surpluses with Asean [ Association of South East Asian Nations ] nations that ran as high as $20 billion, the surplus through October totaled a bare $535 million, according to Chinese customs figures, and appears headed toward a 10-year low. That is prompting some rethinking of the conventional wisdom that China’s rise is a windfall for the whole neighbourhood.

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