Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 74 ›› Issue (2): 285-296.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201902006

• Geoeconomics and Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Calculation of the geoeconomic relationships between China, the USA and Japan based on Coulomb force model

HUANG Yu(),GE Yuejing(),LIU Xiaofeng   

  1. Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2017-09-11 Online:2019-02-25 Published:2019-01-29
  • Supported by:
    Major Research Plan of National Social Science Foundation of China, No.16ZDA041;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41871128


Geoeconomics has become one of the most important factors of international relationship since the end of the Cold War. Different nations have formed competitive or cooperative geoeconomic relationships because of their different natural conditions, resource endowments, and economic structures. Hence, it is important to balance the economic competition and cooperation between nations in the geoeconomic era of heightened economic conflict. This paper aims to explore the rule of competitive or cooperative geoeconomic relationships between nations by taking China, the USA and Japan as examples, and the recent 10 years (2007-2016) as a study period. As the major powers of the Pacific region, the geoeconomic relationships between China, the USA, and Japan have a strong connection with the development of the Pacific region and even the global economy. This paper builds the concept and measurement of geoeconomic cooperative intensity, inspired by the thought of the Coulomb force of physics. Compared with the previous measure, the method of geoeconomic cooperative intensity exactly portrays the degree of competitive or cooperative geoeconomic relationships between nations owing to its consideration of distance factor, production type factor, as well as the import and export volume. The results show that: (1) The geoeconomic relationship as a whole is more competitive than cooperative between China, the USA and Japan, while almost all the separate results are negative between the three nations. And Japan is more competitive with the other two nations than the competition between China and the USA; (2) In terms of the detailed products types, mineral fuels, vehicles, motors and equipment parts, and mechanical equipment generally determine the characteristics of the geoeconomic relationship among three nations, since these products have far greater influence on the geoeconomic relations than other products; (3) The cooperative intensity of oil resource between China, the USA and Japan is the smallest among all the products. In other words, the oil resource is the most influential product. Therefore, the competition of the overseas oil resource will be a decisive factor in the economic competition among China, the USA and Japan.

Key words: geoeconomy, geoeconomic cooperative intensity, competition and cooperation, coulomb force model, international trade, trade categories