Understanding the Chinese Economies

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China is ranked 20th among 43 countries in the Asia—Pacific region, and its overall score is below the regional and world averages. Increasing tensions in the U. Xi has centralized his authority, ousted internal political enemies, and backed authoritarian policies to tighten control of civil society.

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A slowdown in economic growth, which may be more severe than official statistics indicate, poses serious challenges for a government whose legitimacy depends increasingly on its ability to raise living standards. Property Rights All land in China is owned by the state, and protection of foreign intellectual property is inadequate.

The judicial system is heavily influenced by government agencies and the Chinese Communist Party. Corruption remains endemic, and the leadership has rejected fundamental reforms such as requiring public disclosure of assets by officials, creating genuinely independent oversight bodies, or lifting political constraints on journalists.

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Tax Burden Fiscal Health The top personal income tax rate is 45 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 25 percent. Other taxes include value-added and real estate taxes. The overall tax burden equals Over the past three years, government spending has amounted to Public debt is equivalent to Business Freedom Labor Freedom Monetary Freedom Elimination of the minimum capital requirement has made it easier to launch a new business, but the overall regulatory framework remains complex and uneven.

The labor market remains tightly controlled. As of today, particularly given the protectionist trade war that President Trump has waged on China and China's galloping internal challenges, Beijing is not in a position to risk the gains of its ongoing development process by adopting a hardline approach toward the United States and its neighbors.

China has the largest reserves in U.

Yukon Huang // What the West Doesn't Understand About China's Economy—A Lot!

China does not have the luxury of postponing its transformation into an economy in which Chinese companies produce mainly technology-intensive high value-added goods and domestic consumption increases to such an extent that China's economic development is not negatively affected by recessions and contractions in developed Western economies.

The Chinese economy cannot survive long on the principles of export-led growth and high domestic savings. Besides, an aggressive stance against its neighbors will likely push them further closer to the arms of the United States, thereby tarnishing Chinese attempts at manufacturing soft power. China owes its meteoric rise in global politics to its efforts to become a part of the capitalist world economy. Its influence in global politics arises from the intense economic relationships it has developed with many other countries.


China has now become the number one trading-partner of not only its neighbors to the south and east but also many developed countries in the West. China is still the global factory of merchandise goods and it needs to import many raw materials from abroad because it is a resource-poor country. If China wants to benefit from its growing economic relations with other countries, such as through the Belt and Road Imitative BRI , the message that Chinese leaders have long been giving should continue to resonate: China's rise also means the rise of others.

For China's "no-strings-attached" development aid policy not to be seen imperial, China's economic rise should continue benefiting others as well. The improvement of infrastructural capacities of the countries on which China is dependent on for raw materials and to which China exports goods are in the final analysis in China's national economic interests.

An important characteristic of China's rise also relates to its continental size and huge population. Because size matters in international politics, every small increase in Chinese per capita income will lift many Chinese people out of poverty and increase China's share in the global economy. Any war with the United States will certainly postpone this to much later. China's challenge to the liberal world order closely varies with its civilizational state identity and core values of Chinese society, such as a father-like status of the state in the eyes of people, unitary state identity, territorial integrity, realpolitik security culture, societal cohesion, primacy of family bonds over individuality, primacy of state sovereignty over popular sovereignty, state's unquestioned involvement in economics and social life, primacy of responsible and ethical statesmanship over electoral legitimacy, resolving conflicts through societal mechanisms and trust relationships rather than legal instruments, primacy of hierarchical relations within the society over egalitarianism and primacy of shame culture over guilt culture.

Understanding China's Economic Performance

Another key characteristic of China's rise is that despite all counter allegations that Chinese foreign policy has turned out to become more assertive and aggressive over the last decade Chinese leaders seem to have been following a low key foreign policy orientation by avoiding rigid positions on global issues unless core national interests are at stake, such as the status of Taiwan, Tibet, the Uighur region, the South China Sea and the East China Sea.

Chinese leaders also avoid taking global responsibilities. This is a challenge mainly because the costs of maintaining global stability and providing global commons will dramatically increase absent the Chinese contribution.

On the other hand, such a reluctant approach to global governance might suggest that China is not resolved to replace the United States as the global hegemon. China is not openly questioning the established Western liberal order by either forming anti-Western coalitions of states or doing its best to make sure that Western-led international organizations do not operate smoothly.

It is for sure that China, along with many other rising powers, wants to see that its growing ascendance in global politics be accommodated institutionally and peacefully. However, should Western powers decline to accommodate China, the latter will not hesitate to help establish alternative institutional platforms under its guidance, such as the Asia Infrastructure and Investment Bank and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Hong Kong vs. China: Understanding the Differences

China values external democratization of global politics rather than internal democratization of national politics. Today's China is not pursuing a strategy of global hegemony.

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  • Defining their empire-state as the Middle Kingdom, Chinese rulers have never adopted an imperial mission whose essential logic was to help transform others in China's image. Despite that they believed in the superiority of their civilization, Chinese rulers have never engaged in an empire-building project whose goal was to bring civilization to barbarians.