Summary of China’s Economic Rise

History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States

Congressional Research Service,

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China’s Economic Rise summary
Understanding China is the key to understanding modern geopolitics and economics.


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Any credible reading of the geopolitical terrain requires a fundamental understanding of China’s long-run dynamics. This report from Wayne M. Morrison of the US Congressional Research Service takes a wide-angle lens to China’s economy, its industrial policies, and its dependence on fixed investment and exports. Readers should note that humanitarian issues fall outside the scope of the report, although it addresses some political and social considerations and their impact on China’s economic well-being. For instance, China’s comparatively weak rule of law undermines property rights, contract rules and the fair allocation of credit. Moreover, a dearth of state-provided social benefits compels citizens to save rather than to consume. However, the report is careful to avoid editorializing and, instead, lets the data tell most of the story. getAbstract recommends this informative read to executives, policy makers and economists who want a research-based overview of China’s economy and its future.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How China became an economic superpower
  • What policies it is likely to pursue in the future
  • How those policies may affect the United States


A Historic Transition
China’s emergence as an economic heavyweight in the 21st century did not occur by chance. The impetus for a command-and-control economy collapsed with the death of Chairman Mao Zedong in 1976, paving the way for a spate of market-oriented reforms. Within three decades...
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About the Author

Wayne M. Morrison covers Asian trade and finance at the Congressional Research Service.

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