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China’s International Growth Agenda

For most of the past 35 years, China’s policymakers had no strategy to ensure that others – especially the neighbors – gained from the country’s economic transformation. But now China does have such a strategy, or at least is rapidly developing one, and it extends well beyond Asia, to Eastern Europe and the east coast of Africa.

MILAN – For most of the past 35 years, China’s policymakers have set their focus on the domestic economy, with reforms designed to allow the market to provide efficiency and accurate price signals. Though they had to be increasingly aware of their country’s growing impact on the global economy, they had no strategy to ensure that China’s neighbors gained from its economic transformation.

But now China does have such a strategy, or at least is rapidly developing one. Moreover, it extends well beyond Asia, embracing Eastern Europe and the east coast of Africa.

A key element of China’s strategy is the recently established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and to some extent the BRICS’ New Development Bank, established last year by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Both banks are obvious alternatives – and so rivals – to the Western-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

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