Chapter 12: China’s Developmental Experience: Lessons for the Asia-Pacific
Minglu Chen and David S.G. Goodman 1. INTRODUCTION At the end of the March 2011 session of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) the Premier, Wen Jiabao, was asked by a journalist if China’s development during the last 30 years had lessons for other countries. He replied that ‘It is not right to draw an analogy between China and other countries’. This answer may have been somewhat predictable at the time given that the questioner also asked whether China’s case was instructive in the light of the changes that some North African countries were then experiencing (China Daily 15 March 2011: 4). Others within the PRC during the last few years have been less modest about the successes of the PRC since it started opening to the world and its process of reform in 1979. Deng Zhenglai, of Fudan University, has written about ‘China’s Living Wisdom’: a triumphalist argument that links the last 30 years of dramatic growth with the long traditions of Chinese civilisation (Deng 2010). This is not an uncommon view within the PRC where many people now talk very positively about ‘The China Model’ or ‘The Beijing Consensus’ to describe the economic successes of China’s growth, its growing international influence, and the possibility of a still greater role in international affairs (Yu 2006; Renmin luntan 2008). Outside the PRC these two terms have their origins in observations of the same phenomena. China’s 30-year economic growth pattern has been dramatic: a sustained 9...
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