China: Behind the Miracle by Sumita Dawra

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  • May 2016
    Book Review

    China has experienced approximately double-digit economic growth for almost three decades since the opening of the economy in 1978 under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping. It has been able to lift more than 624 million people out of poverty, per capita income has increased more than five times and human development indicators show rapid progress during the period. This achievement is unparalleled in history and it is highly unlikely that any country will be able to match the ‘Chinese miracle’. However, there are big question marks over the future trajectory of economic growth in China. Opinion is divided amongst analysts and economists whether China will have a ‘hard landing’ or ‘soft landing’. The former implies low rates of economic growth which will fuel social and economic unrest and lead to political instability or even regime collapse. The latter is synonymous with China being able to successfully restructure its economy from investment and export-led growth towards one driven by services and domestic consumption. The author is optimistic that China will have a ‘soft landing’ because of the various measures undertaken by the Chinese leadership such as urbanisation, innovation in agriculture and manufacturing and development of central, southern and western China, among others.