Main content area

Analytical approach to win-win game analysis for Chinese and Japanese development assistance strategies in Africa

Wen, Yuanyuan, Li, Hongtao, Du, Xuan, Yang, Kaijun, Casazza, Marco, Liu, Gengyuan
Ecological indicators 2019 v.96 pp. 219-228
analytical methods, case studies, developed countries, developing countries, environmental indicators, game theory, models, Africa, China, Japan
Still influenced by the cold war thinking, many countries – especially looking to new rising powers – might interact in the international scenario through competition, instead than cooperation. However, China has seen more opportunities in cooperation than challenges in competition. Since 2013, Chinese president Xi Jinping pointed out clearly in various public occasions that this world has become a community of common destiny. In this paper, we used an asymmetric dynamic evolution game model, adding the hypothesis of win-win game, to analyze why China would like to choose the strategy of cooperation, rather than competition, in international affairs. We applied this analytical framework to the case study of Chinese and Japanese environmental assistance programs to Africa. We found that, based on the traditional game theory, under the hypothesis of the cold war mentality, China and Japan may act as mutual rivals. Under this circumstance, China, as an emerging developing country, will more likely choose the strategy of competition, rather than cooperating with other countries. Instead, Japan, as a traditional developed country, will more likely choose to cooperate, rather than competing with China, especially if the expected cost of the failure of the competition is high. However, in the new hypothesis of win-win game analysis, we found that cooperation strategy on development assistance to Africa is more likely a rational choice for both China and Japan. Thus, we suggest that China might keep practicing its win-win strategy and do not use the outdated zero-sum game and winner-take-all strategy as some of its counterparts may probably do. This analytical framework can be applied to other international affairs involving China and other countries.