With the onset of the global economic crisis, China remains one of the only major economies likely to avoid recession. Released in 2007, the first edition of Will China Fail? looked at the profound and mounting contradictions, tensions, and dysfunctions within Chinese economy and society. This second edition reassesses these imbalances in the Chinese political-economy two years on.
The second edition shows the significant policy shifts that have occurred since the Tiananmen protests in 1989 and argues that the Chinese Communist Party are no longer able or willing to pursue further fundamental reforms. Instead, they are stuck in a holding pattern in order to remain in power. Constrained by a decentralized model of authority and administration that is highly corrupt and inefficient given the country’s lack of institutions, Beijing has only been able to plaster over significant cracks.
Rather than moving toward a modern, successful civil society and state, as occurred in East Asian countries such as Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, China is walking a more dangerous and unpredictable path.
Will China Fail? examines the impact of the global financial crisis on China’s economy and the consequences of the Chinese Communist Party’s response. Lee reveals that political and economic reform to limit the role of the Chinese Communist Party has been going backwards.
Although China is likely to achieve their target of 8 percent growth in 2009, the GFC has exposed China’s structural weakness in its growth model.
China’s economic problems are causing troubling developments in Chinese civil society: including the rise of a chauvinistic nationalism encouraged by the CCP, ascent of a new army—the People’s Armed Police— to enforce order, worsening corruption, as well as inequality caused by the CCP’s state-led development model and the crowding out of the fledging domestic private sector.
Dr. John Lee