not moving into a Sino centred age but into an age of China integrated into

Not moving into a sino centred age but into an age of

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not moving into a Sino-centred age, but into an age of China integrated into American Empire” (Parisot 2013, 1162) and that China is now “playing our game” (Steinfeld 2010). “Playing our game” or not, it is important to note that the Chinese state itself has undergone transformation in the evolving international society. Jim Glassman reminds us that “states can be seen not as existing external to markets or production networks but rather as being produced and reproduced in the same processes that produce markets and production networks” (2011, 157). This is indeed how the Chinese state is being (re)produced. As Beijing finds itself
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increasingly enmeshed into the globalized economy, it also realizes that its legitimacy and power depend on the stability and wellbeing of the global system . The state has thus acquired dual responsibility to both “national” economies and the world economy (Cox 1987). In this context, we may argue that the Chinese state itself is no longer what it used to be (Pan 2009b). While its role continues to be central to China’s economic activities, its function has been transformed in the process of China’s global economic integration , a process which the state has helped instigate. This of course does not mean an eventual convergence of China with the West or the end of global competition. What it does mean is that the nature of that competition has become more complex than what the power shifts of the past would entail . Putting the Notion of a US-China Power Shift in Perspective As noted above, a “national economy” approach to power as implied in the powershift narrative often misses the relational, contextual, structural, and social nature of “Chinese” economic power, which has become increasingly de-territorialized and denationalized as a result of “the new transnational accumulation dynamics (Hart-Landsberg and Burkett 2006, 4). It therefore no longer makes as much sense as in the past to talk about Chinese economic power. This argument goes beyond the “power and interdependence” thesis that Chinese and foreign economic powers are mutually dependent as otherwise discrete power entities (Keohane and Nye 2001). That is, the very “national” category of economic power is increasingly elusive in the dynamic global production networks , which are what differentiate economic globalization today from the interdependent world economy of the past (Steinfeld 2010). In such networks, power takes on a form of networked power , defined by Anne-Marie Slaughter (2009, 100) as “the ability to make the maximum number of valuable connections .” Speaking of networked power, Slaughter further argues that the United States still has “a clear and sustainable edge” (Slaughter 2009, 95). This may well be so, but to see networked power this way (as yet again a kind of quantifiable resource possessed by a state ) is to misunderstand the fundamentally different nature of networked power which, by definition, cannot be divided easily along national boundaries . To have networked power in the world means that, to use
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  • Winter '16
  • Jeff Hannan
  • International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank, Infrastructure Investment Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

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