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Editor's Introduction


  • Joseph Fewsmith


In recent years not only has the rapid economic development of the People's Republic of China continued to catch people's attention but the emergence of a so-called "Greater China" has similarly become a topic of wide-ranging discussion. Greater China is by no means a precise term, as the articles included here make evident. Among the names that have been suggested are: "Greater Chinese Common Market," "Economic Sphere of Both Sides of the Straits," "Southeastern Chinese Free Trade Zone," "Chinese Economic Coordination System for Common Economic Prosperity," and simply "Chinese Sphere." The bewildering variety of names is not just the normal academic penchant for coining new names but often carry different connotations that have different economic and sometimes political implications. Thus Chinese scholars on Taiwan frequently prefer names, such as the Chinese Common Market, that imply a coming together on an equal political basis, as the states of Europe did to form the Common Market. PRC scholars, on the other hand, shy away from names that either imply political equality among the parties involved or that suggest a PRC design to control the economies of other places, such as Singapore and Southeast Asia. Thus Li Poxi, director of the Development Forecast Division of the State Council's Development Research Center, uses the rather unwieldy term "Chinese Economic Coordination System for Common Economic Prosperity." Just as the names different scholars have used vary, so do the concepts that they have in mind. Professor Chu-yuan Cheng, for instance, seems to include Singapore in his concept of a Chinese Common Market for the specific purpose that any agreement that included Singapore would implicitly treat other political entities, such as Taiwan, as nation-states. In contrast, PRC scholars tend to exclude places such as Singapore, at least for the establishment of any sort of formal cooperation, for the same reason that Professor Cheng would like to see it included. Other scholars see a "Greater China" by whatever name as not only including Taiwan, Hong Kong, and southeastern China but also the Chinese communities of Southeast Asia.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph Fewsmith, 1993. "Editor's Introduction," Chinese Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(6), pages 3-4, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:chinec:v:26:y:1993:i:6:p:3-4

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