China in a new period of transition
China’s economic transformation since 1978 has been remarkable. At the commencement of the reform period, China’s per capita GDP was lower than India’s, Pakistan’s, Indonesia’s, and Thailand’s, and about 3 per cent of that of the US. Today, it is multiples above Indian, Pakistani and Indonesian levels, and equivalent to 20 per cent of that of the US. Through a process of reform and opening up, the utilisation of a vast endowment of labour, the rapid accumulation of capital and technological catch up, China has been transformed from a rural agrarian economy to an urban industrial force. However, the structural transformations associated with industrialisation are giving rise to economic challenges and pressure for policy change. Following over three decades of rapid growth, China has reached a period where a heavy reliance on investment and exports has led to the build up of a number of economic, social, and environmental challenges that need to be addressed. While there remains potential for further impressive growth, the favourable conditions that China has benefited from in the past are, in many respects, reaching their ‘use by date’. This presents a range of policy challenges for China’s incoming leadership.
Volume (Year): (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
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