Who are China's allies?
The US has NATO/EU and other South/East/South-East Asian countries as its direct allies either by ideology or by pacts. Also, most US allies are either high-income countries or technologically/militarily advanced.
In contrast, I don't see many countries that are close to China and/or able to reciprocate economically or militarily.
My questions are:
- Does China have close allies in the way the US and European countries do?
- If not, then how are they still able to "flex their muscles" politically?
Edit: Some people would point out countries that are participating in the Belt and Road initiative. Most of them are poor. Aren't they?
Try looking into China's Belt and Road initiative. Countries involved in that may not be allies strictly speaking, but are moving closer.
North Korea, Cambodia, Pakistan, recently a number of other countries of Afro-Eurasia on the basis of commercial ties.
Regarding "flexing their muscles", they are responsible for nearly 30% of global manufacturing, which certainly gives them some leverage economically.
Does China have close allies in the way the US and European countries do? If not, then how are they still able to "flex their muscles" politically?
Yes China has allies.
- North Korea
China also has foreign military bases in the following countries:
- Argentina – A base in the province of Neuquén in Patagonia. Land loaned to the Chinese government during Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s presidency. Activities in the base are unknown. China claims it is for space exploration and intelligence services.3
- Djibouti – Chinese People's Liberation Army Support Base in Djibouti
- Myanmar – A naval SIGINT base in the Great Coco Island.
- Tajikistan – A military base in South-eastern Gorno-Badakhshan.
This map is old Pre Covid and Hong Kong, but it shows the scope of China's economic influence.
China uses it's economic power to influence, coerce and attract allies.
Some people would point out countries that are participating in the Belt and Road initiative. Most of them are poor. Aren't they?
Well Italy has one of the eight largest economies in the world and they are participating in the Belt and Road initiative along with Greec, Serbia and much of Eastern Europe.