Stock Markets, FDI and Challenges of Sustainability
Advances in Chinese Economic Studies series
Edited by Lilai Xu
Colin White It is my pleasure to write this foreword to an important book. A few words stressing the nature of that importance are in order. The global economy is coming full circle. The brief period of European dominance, which has stretched from the mid-seventeenth century to the present, is coming to an end. Led by China, Asia is reasserting its prime position in the global economy, and at its core is China. After more than 30 years of rapid growth, following the laying of the foundations of modern economic development during the Maoist era and the initiation of significant reform of the Maoist system in 1978, China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, marking in a symbolic way the arrival of China on the international stage as a major player. Many predictions are made extrapolating recent economic success in China into the future and predicting even greater success, the emergence of an economy which will rival the USA in size and strength. The validity of such predictions is often questioned, but they continue to be made. The method of achievement in China is as striking as the achievement itself. To Western eyes the model of economic development pursued in China has been highly idiosyncratic. It truly represented a departure from the European model, if such an animal existed in the first place. Entry into the WTO put the seal on the accommodation of a market system to the existing highly centralized planning system, itself much influenced by...