The Chinese government has more control over more wealth than any other government in world history. With the Communist Party controlling the "commanding heights" of the world's second-largest economy, China appears ideally structured to pursue economic statecraft, using economic resources to advance its foreign policy goals. Yet as this book shows, domestic complications frequently constrain Chinese leaders. They have responded with a distinctive approach to economic statecraft: orchestration.
In Orchestration, James Reilly examines the ideas and institutions at the heart of China's approach to economic statecraft, and assesses Beijing's orchestration in four cases: Myanmar, North Korea, Western Europe, and Central/Eastern Europe. China's unique experience as a planned economy, and then a developmental state, all under a single Leninist party, left Chinese leaders with unchallenged authority over their economy. However, despite successfully mobilizing companies, banks, and local officials to rapidly expand trade and investment abroad, Chinese leaders largely failed to influence key policy decisions overseas. For countries around the world, economic engagement with China thus yields more benefits with fewer costs than generally assumed.