A client state is a state that is economically, politically, and/or militarily subordinate to another more powerful state (termed controlling state in this article) in international relations. Types of client states include: satellite state, associated state, dominion, self-governing colony, neo-colony, protectorate, vassal state, and tributary state.
Controlling states in historyEdit
Persia, Greece, and RomeEdit
Ancient states such as Persia and Parthia, Greek city-states, and Ancient Rome sometimes created client states by making the leaders of that state subservient, having to provide tribute and soldiers. Classical Athens, for example, forced weaker states into the Delian League and in some cases imposed democratic government on them. Later, Philip II of Macedon similarly imposed the League of Corinth. One of the most prolific users of client states was Republican Rome which, instead of conquering and then absorbing into an empire, chose to make client states out of those it defeated (e.g. Demetrius of Pharos), a policy which was continued up until the 1st century BCE when it became the Roman Empire. Sometimes the client was not a former enemy but a pretender whom Rome helped, Herod the Great being a well-known example. The use of client states continued through the Middle Ages as the feudal system began to take hold.
19th and 20th centuriesEdit
This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2014)
Russia and SerbiaEdit
The Austro-Hungarian Empire tried to make Serbia a client state in order to form a Christian opposition to the Ottoman Empire. That changed after a revolution in Serbia in 1900. Serbia now came under Russian protection, which was forming a pan-Orthodox opposition to the Latin Christianity represented by the Austro-Hungarian empire. In 1914, Russia repeatedly warned the Austro-Hungarian Empire against attacking Serbia. When it did attack, Russia mobilized its army. Russia also wanted Bulgaria and Montenegro as client states.
Great Britain and Austria both considered Serbia as a client state controlled by Russia. Most historians call Serbia a client state but historian Christopher Clark disagrees. He says the Russians made a mistake in thinking Serbia was a client state. In an unpublished commentary Clark argues:
It was a risk enhancing initiative [of Russian Foreign Minister Serge Sazanov]
to allow Serbia to becometo see Serbia as a kind of client; ... Serbia, to my knowledge, has never been a client of anyone. [...] This is a mistake, when Great Powers think they can secure the services of "client states"; ThatThose "clients" are never in fact "clients"! That's a mistake that is presumably going to continue being made by our political leaderships, though one hopes one day it will stop.
During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras (1789–1815), France conquered most of western Europe and established several client states. At first, during the French revolutionary wars these states were erected as republics (the so-called "Républiques soeurs", or "sister republics"). They were established in Italy (Cisalpine Republic in Northern Italy, Parthenopean Republic in Southern Italy), Greece (Îles Ioniennes), Switzerland (Helvetic Republic and Rhodanic Republic), Belgium and the Netherlands (Batavian Republic).
During the First French Empire, while Napoleon and the French army conquered Europe, such states changed, and several new states were formed. The Italian republics were transformed into the Kingdom of Italy under Napoleon's direct rule in the north, and the Kingdom of Naples in the south, first under Joseph Bonaparte's rule and later under Marshal Joachim Murat. A third state was created in the Italian Peninsula, the Kingdom of Etruria. The Batavian Republic was replaced by the Kingdom of Holland, ruled by Napoleon's third brother, Louis Bonaparte.
A total of 35 German states, all of them allies of France, seceded from the Holy Roman Empire to create the Confederation of the Rhine, a client state created to provide a buffer between France and its two largest enemies to the east, Prussia and Austria. Two of those states were Napoleonic creations: the huge Kingdom of Westphalia, which was controlled by Jerome Bonaparte, the Emperor's youngest brother; and the Grand Duchy of Würzburg.
In the 20th century, France started to apply the concept of Françafrique, its name for its former African colonies, sometimes extended to the former Belgian colonies. At present the term is used on some occasions to criticise the allegedly neocolonial relationship France has with its former colonies in Africa.
The countries involved provide oil and minerals important to the French economy. In addition, French companies have commercial interests in several countries of the continent.
In the British Empire the Indian Princely States were technically independent and were given their separate independence in 1947 (although the Nizam of Hyderabad indeed opted for independence but could not retain his independence from India). Egyptian Independence in 1922 ended a British protectorate in Egypt. Sudan continued to be governed as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan until Sudanese independence in 1956; Britain also had an interest in Egypt until the Suez Crisis was over. Iraq was made a kingdom in 1932. In each case the economic and military reality did not amount to full independence, but a status where the local rulers were British clients. Similarly in Africa (e.g. Northern Nigeria under Lord Lugard), and Malaya with the Federated Malay States and Unfederated Malay States; the policy of indirect rule.
After France was defeated in the Battle of France, Vichy France was established as a client state of Nazi Germany, which remained as such until 1942 when it was reduced to a puppet government until its liberation in 1944. Germany also established, in its newly conquered Eastern territories, client states including the Slovak Republic, the Croatian State and the Albanian Kingdom.
United States of AmericaEdit
The term applied has been applied to authoritarian regimes with close ties to the United States during the Cold War, also referred to as U.S. proxy states, such as South Vietnam, Indonesia (1967–1998) under the Suharto Regime, Iran until 1979, Cambodia under the regime of Lon Nol from 1970 to 1975, the Philippines under Ferdinand Marcos from 1965 to 1986, and Saudi Arabia. U.S. - Iran relations under the Shah (reigned 1941 to 1979) have been cited as a modern political-science case-study.
- Chile (1973–1990)
- China (1945–1979, on the island of Taiwan from 1949)
- Cuba (1902–1959)
- Khmer Republic (1970–1975)
- South Vietnam (1955–1975)
The term has also been applied to states which are extremely economically dependent on a more powerful nation. The three Pacific Ocean countries associated with the United States under the Compact of Free Association (the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau) have been called client states.
In the late 19th century, the Japanese Empire gradually reduced Joseon Korea's status to that of a client state. In the early 20th century, this was converted to direct rule. Manchukuo, in contrast, remained a puppet state throughout World War II.
- Korean Empire
- Joseon（Post Sino-Japanese War）
- Qing dynasty（Post Sino-Japanese War）
- Ryukyu（Current Okinawa Prefecture）
- State of Burma
- Second Philippine Republic
- Kingdom of Laos
- Azad Hind
- Republic of China（East Hebei Autonomous Government, Great Way Government）
- Cambodia（from 9 March 1945 to 16 October 1945）
- Provisional Government of Free India
- Empire of Vietnam
Soviet proxy or "client" states included much of the Warsaw Pact nations whose policies were heavily influenced by Soviet military power and economic aid. Other third world nations with Marxist-Leninist governments were routinely criticized as being Soviet proxies as well, among them Cuba following the Cuban Revolution, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the People's Republic of Angola, the People's Republic of Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). Within the Soviet Union itself, the Ukrainian SSR and the Byelorussian SSR, had seats at the United Nations, but were actually proper Soviet territory.
- Warsaw Pact and Comecon states:
- People's Republic of China (until the Sino-Soviet split)
- North Korea (1949-1991)
- People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (1974–1991 (Derg until 1987))
- South Yemen
- Yugoslavia (until the Tito-Stalin split)
- Nauru has been regarded as a client state of Australia by some sources, as it is heavily dependent on economic support from Australia, uses Australia's currency and processes and houses unauthorised asylum seeker arrivals to Australia under the Pacific Solution. In The Guardian, Ben Doherty wrote that "Nauru is a client state in every sense, kept functioning, just, by its wealthy neighbour. But its dependence on Australian largesse makes its government entirely beholden to its benefactor’s interests, even at the expense of its own people" and described Nauru as a "tiny, impoverished client state in the middle of the Pacific". Refugee advocate David Manne labelled a plan by Nauru to sign the 1951 Refugee Convention as a "cynical marketing tool" by a "client state of Australia".
- Papua New Guinea, also involved in the Pacific Solution, has been called to a lesser extent, a client state of Australia.
People's Republic of ChinaEdit
- Cambodia has sometimes been considered a client state of China.
- Laos has also been considered a Chinese client state, although this is disputed.
- Myanmar has been described as "a near-client state of China".
- Nepal has been described as a client state of China by Huffpost.
- North Korea has sometimes been seen as a client state of the People's Republic of China since the Dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, although this is sometimes disputed.
- Pakistan has been considered a client state of China.
- Zimbabwe has sometimes been referred to as a client state.
- Cameroon has been described as a client state of France.
- Djibouti has been described as a client state of France.
- Gabon has been described as a client state of France.
- Ivory Coast has been described as a client state of France.
- Bangladesh has sometimes been referred to as a client state.
- Bhutan is sometimes referred to as an Indian client state.
These countries have to varying degrees been called client states of Iran.
- Palestinian Authority (1994-present) in Palestine
- South Lebanon Army in Lebanon (1978-2000)
- Mujahideen el khelq in Iran
- Fursan Al Golan in Golan Heights, Syria
- Belarus - Financial Times has said that Russia "has long treated Belarus as a client state".
- Kyrgyzstan has been referred to as a Russian client state.
- Armenia is sometimes referred to as a Russian client state.
- Syria has been described as a client state of Russia.
- Venezuela is sometimes referred to as a Russian client state.
- Transnistria has been referred to as a client state of Russia.
- Bahrain - According to The Atlantic, "Bahrain has long positioned itself as a client state to Saudi Arabia as well as the U.S."
- Yemen (Cabinet of Yemen) - during the civil war in Yemen.
- Azerbaijan is sometimes referred to as a Turkish client state.
- Northern Cyprus is often referred to as a Turkish client state.
- Free Syrian Army
United States of AmericaEdit
There are three Pacific Island states that are under the Compact of Free Association:
Puerto Rico is officially a commonwealth of the United States, that is, it has a pact of association for the common good with the United States. It is an associated state, but unlike the other three it is not entirely independent.
- Argentina has been described as a client state of United States.
- Afghanistan was described as a client state of United States and NATO.
- Bahamas has been described as a client state of United States.
- Bahrain has been described as a client state of United States.
- Belize has been described as a client state of United States.
- Chile has been described as a client state of United States.
- Colombia has been described as a client state of United States.
- Costa Rica has been described as a client state of United States.
- Canada has been described as a client state of United States.
- Dominican Republic has been described as a client state of United States.
- Ecuador has been described as a client state of United States.
- Egypt has been described as a client state of United States.
- El Salvador has been described as a client state of United States.
- Guatemala has been described as a client state of United States.
- Haiti has been described as a client state of United States.
- Honduras has been described as a client state of United States.
- Indonesia has been described as a client state of United States.
- Iraq has been described as a client state of United States.
- Israel has been described as a client state of United States.
- Jamaica has been described as a client state of United States.
- Jordan has been described as a client state of United States.
- Kosovo has been described as a client state of United States.
- Kuwait has been described as a client state of United States.
- Morocco has been described as a client state of United States.
- Pakistan has been described as a client state of United States.
- Panama has been described as a client state of United States.
- Peru has been described as a client state of United States.
- Poland has been described as a client state of United States.
- Qatar has been described as a client state of United States.
- Saudi Arabia has been described as a client state of United States.
- South Korea has been described as a client state of United States.
- Taiwan has been described as a client state of United States.
- Tunisia has been described as a client state of United States.
- United Arab Emirates has been described as a client state of United States.
- Yemen (Cabinet of Yemen) has been described as a client state of United States.
- The Netherlands has been described as a client state of the United States.
While the term has also been used to describe:
- Denmark（ Greenland）
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
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