Foreign policy scholars argue that transnational actors, such as multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations, and international institutions, can influence the contours of a country’s foreign policy. This is certainly the case for China, which has experienced significant changes in its foreign policy due to the influence of transnational actors.
- Multinational corporations: China’s rapid economic growth has been driven in large part by its engagement with multinational corporations. These corporations have significant economic power and can influence Chinese foreign policy by advocating for policies that benefit their interests. For example, multinational corporations have played a significant role in shaping China’s trade policy and its approach to foreign investment.
- Non-governmental organizations (NGOs): NGOs can also influence Chinese foreign policy by advocating for human rights, environmental protection, and other issues. However, the Chinese government has often been wary of NGOs, viewing them as a potential threat to its control. As a result, the Chinese government has implemented strict regulations on NGOs and limited their ability to influence foreign policy.
- International institutions: China is a member of many international institutions, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund. These institutions can influence China’s foreign policy by setting global norms and standards, and by providing a platform for cooperation with other countries. However, China has often been critical of these institutions, and has sought to establish alternative institutions, such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
- Overseas Chinese communities: China has a significant overseas Chinese community, which can influence Chinese foreign policy by advocating for policies that benefit their interests. This has been particularly true in countries such as Taiwan, where the overseas Chinese community has advocated for reunification with mainland China.
Overall, transnational actors have had a significant impact on the contours of China’s foreign policy. Multinational corporations have driven China’s economic engagement with the world, while NGOs and international institutions have influenced China’s approach to issues such as human rights and environmental protection. However, the Chinese government remains wary of the influence of transnational actors, and has sought to maintain control over the country’s foreign policy decisions.