China's version of the Asian model

Beijing has altered the geopolitical context that led to the rise of East Asia

Workers checking rolls of sheet aluminium at a factory in Wuhan, Hubei province. China is the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter, and has a huge domestic consumer economy, which provides an alternative source of growth to the export markets that were so critical to the early decades of China’s rise. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

FINANCIAL TIMES - "What do you think is unique about the China model?" That was the question posed to me by a television reporter, last time I was in Beijing. My answer was that I don't think there was a specific Chinese economic model.

There is an East Asian development model of rapid, export-driven industrialisation that was pioneered by Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. What China did was to pursue the same model - at scale. I added that China's one real innovation was that the country had not liberalised politically as it had grown richer. This sets China apart from the South Koreans and Taiwanese.

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