A Theory of China’s ‘Miracle’ Eight Principles of Contemporary Chinese Political Economy

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China’s rapid economic development in recent years is often characterized as “miraculous.”1 Talk of a “Beijing Consensus” or “China model” has become commonplace in academic debates. But as we have written elsewhere, “theoretical problems have started to emerge with regards to the very existence, content, and prospects of the China model.”2 The key question, then, is what kind of economic theory and strategy underpin this “miracle.” China’s model has been variously described as a form of neoliberalism, or as a novel kind of Keynesianism. Against these positions, we hold that the country’s major recent developmental gains are the achievements of theoretical advances in political economy, originating in China itself, while the main problems that have accompanied China’s development reflect the damaging influence of Western neoliberalism. President Xi Jinping has emphasized the need to uphold and develop a Marxian political economy for the twenty-first century, adapted to China’s needs and resources. The bulletin of a conference on China’s economy of the Communist Party central committee, held in December 2015, accordingly stressed the importance of eight major principles of “socialist political economy with Chinese characteristics.” These principles and their applications are discussed below, along with some comments on their varying interpretations among Chinese intellectuals. We hope to clarify the official theoretical model behind China’s economic “miracle,” using the terms and concepts prevalent in China today.
FachzeitschriftMonthly Review
PublikationsstatusPublished - 2017


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