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China in the Global Political Economy

From Developmental to Entrepreneurial

Gordon C.K. Cheung

Is the US losing its economic authority to China, whose global economic identity is being determined more by entrepreneurial spirit than developmental principle? Through the exercise of soft power and hard currency in some areas of the global economy, China has clear national interest in the protection of intellectual property rights, financial integration and sovereign wealth funds. China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will set new standard to global economic development.
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Gordon C.K. Cheung

As always, the writing of a book incurs enormous personal debts as well as unaccountable thanks and gratefulness to many individuals and institutions. This book is by no means an exception. I would like to start by thanking Long Denggao, Director of the Center for Chinese Entrepreneur Studies at Tsinghua University, for supporting my application for the Wei Lun Distinguished Visiting Professorship, which allowed me to visit Tsinghua University in late 2016 for my research and also enabled me to understand more about Beijing’s new vision for China’s economic development. I am also indebted to the administrative and research support of the members of the Centre, especially Gong Ning, Qiao Shi-rong, Lucy Xing and Yi Wei.

I would like to thank Victor Zheng, Assistant Director of the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong for inviting me to join as co-investigator for the project of comparing the financial centres of Hong Kong, Taipei and Shanghai from 2011–13. The project (RG012-P-10) was supported by Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, and the empirical research in these three cities enhanced my understanding of their interaction with global finance. Zhong Sheng from Xian Jiaotong-Liverpool University was particularly helpful during my brief visit there. She helped me explore Suzhou Industrial Park and introduced the latest development of Dushu Lake Higher Education Town.

Thanks are due to Zheng Yongnian, Director of the East Asian Institute (EAI) of the National University of Singapore for the visiting research fellowship I received in 2011. I thank Wang Gungwu, Chairman of EAI. He has always been very inspirational. I would like to thank John Wong, Professorial Fellow and Academic Advisor to the EAI, for encouraging me to continue the study of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in China, my research topic in my first visit in 2005. It proved to be exceptionally helpful to consolidate my understanding of China’s new IPRs development. I also want to thank other EAI colleagues from whom I have learnt a lot from their research and studies on contemporary China.

After my second visit to the EAI in 2011, I extended my research to create a more comprehensive module, China in the Global Political Economy, for final year undergraduate students from 2012. Therefore, this book has also partly stemmed from the teaching and learning of the module. Thus, I would like to thank my students for their discussion, stimulation and debate on these topics.

I would like to thank especially Mark Beeson and Henry Wai-chung Yeung for reading my manuscripts and for their comments. I would also like to thank Gao Fangzhe, a Durham visiting student from Tsinghua University. During her visit in the Epiphany term 2015, she helped in finding Chinese materials of the Chinese sovereign wealth funds and the internationalization of the renminbi. Most importantly, I would like to thank the School of Government & International Affairs at Durham University for granting my research leave during the Michaelmas and Epiphany terms 2016–17. This book could not have been finished without this research leave. In this regard, I also would like to thank Mamtimyn Sunuodula, who served as Acting Director of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies, and whose appointment meant that the Centre could therefore continue with its exciting research activities.

I would like to thank Alex Pettifer, the Editorial Director of Edward Elgar, for his patience and support. We first met in my office a number of years ago and he strongly encouraged me to work on this book project. However, I did not expect that it would take me such a long time to finish it! I also thank two Assistant Editors, Rachel Downie and Tori Raven, for their continuous updating and communication throughout the writing process. I appreciate the constructive comments from three anonymous reviewers commissioned by Edward Elgar as well as the advice given by the series editors for the New Horizons in East Asian Politics series. I would like to thank Erin Litke for her help with checking my English. This book has benefited especially from the excellent and professional copy-editing of Geraldine Lyons, my copy-editor. Finally, I would like to thank especially my wife Flora, my son Edmund and my daughter Jenna. They have always been the first listeners to stories from my research. They always came up with questions and even challenges!

Chapter 3 is a revised version of a paper entitled ‘International relations theory in flux in view of China’s peaceful rise’, Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies, 26(1) (2008), 5–21. Chapter 6 has been substantially revised and developed from a paper entitled ‘The 2008–2009 global financial fallout: Shanghai and Dubai as emerging financial powerhouses?’, Asian Politics and Policy, 2(1) (2010), 77–93. Chapter 7 has been fully revised from an article entitled ‘Fighting global inequality with Chinese characteristics: the role of the sovereign wealth funds (SWFs)’, China’s World, 2(1) (2017), 39–51. I thank the relevant publishers and editor for allowing me to reuse that material in this book.