Rising dragon infrastructure development and Chinese influence in Vietnam
Moon, Thomas D.
Twomey, Christopher P.
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China and Vietnam have recently stepped up cooperation in cross-border infrastructure development in both overland and electric power sectors. While this development is done in the name of "economic development," these projects may have unintended consequences. Using Albert Hirschman's theory of trade as national power, this thesis argues that the cross-border infrastructure development provides China two mechanisms to apply the influence effect of trade on Vietnam. Both sectors of cross-border infrastructure development are analyzed in national, regional and bilateral contexts. The results of this analysis demonstrate that China may not be intentionally creating the mechanisms to use the influence effect of trade. Regardless of the intentions, these mechanisms are being created.China could, in the future, use Hirschman's influence effect of trade to modify Vietnamese behavior. These mechanisms could be used in the event of a territorial dispute in the South China Sea or in the broader geopolitical affairs of the region.
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