Handbook on the International Political Economy of China
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Handbook on the International Political Economy of China

Edited by Ka Zeng

This book examines the processes, evolution and consequences of China’s rapid integration into the global economy. Through analyses of Beijing’s international economic engagement in areas such as trade, investment, finance, sustainable development and global economic governance, it highlights the forces shaping China’s increasingly prominent role in the global economic arena. Chapters explore China’s behavior in global economic governance, the interests and motivations underlying China’s international economic initiatives and the influence of politics, including both domestic politics and foreign relations, on the country’s global economic footprint.
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Chapter 2: China’s international political economy – the changing economic context

Barry Naughton


Changes in economic structure have caused China’s international political economy falling to divide into two strikingly different periods. During the rapid growth period from 1978 until an obvious turning point in 2006–07, economic conditions were dominated by labor force growth, high investment, and rapid expansion of exports. The central policy issues therefore related to export growth; an export-growth coalition favoring policies of undervaluation and investment promotion was partially balanced by a financial stability coalition that urged restraint in implementing these policies. In the second period, since 2007, labor force growth has slowed, wages have increased rapidly, and exports have declined in relative importance. Issues relating to financial internationalization and government international influence have become central. A group that seeks to maximize direct government international influence is partially balanced by a group favoring broader financial liberalization.

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