Death of the East Asian Goose and the Rise of China’s Geoindustrial Policy


China’s Belt and Road Initiative and its associated domestic industrial policies represent a parallel trade and investment strategy that challenges the Akamatsu principle of the Flying Geese pattern of industrial development in East Asia. This paper is positioned against the dominant orthodox theory of national systems of industrial development in East Asia. It argues that China’s trade and industry policy in the 2012–2017 period has demonstrated that government will expand its industrial policy market intervention rather than retract, moving away from the regional economic integration order by moving industrial production and import trade away from the Asia-Pacific along a Westward axis to the Indian Ocean and Eurasia. Implications are that the emergence of China’s geoindustrial policy will subvert multilateral trade norms as China begins to institutionalise its external trade and industrial policies.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3


  1. 1.

    Akamatsu, Kaname. 1962. A Historical Pattern of Economic Growth in Developing Countries. Journal of Developing Economies 1 (1): 3–25.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Lewis, W. Arthur. 1954. Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of labor. The Manchester School 22 (2): 139–191.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Peng, Dajin. 2002. Invisible Linkages: A Regional Perspective of East Asian Political Economy. International Studies Quarterly. 46 (3): 423–447.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Porter, Michael. 1998. The Competitive Advantage of Nations. Basingstoke: MacMillan.

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Vernon, Raymond. 1966. International Investment and International Trade in the Product Cycle. The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 80 (2): 190–207.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Chang, Hajoon. 2003. Kicking Away the Ladder–Development Strategy in Historical Perspective. London: Anthem Press.

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Gerschenkron, Alexander. 1962. Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective. Cambridge: Belknap Press.

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    List, Friedrich. 1856. The National System of Political Economy. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippencourt & Co..

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Marx, Karl. 1867. 1993. Capital: Volume I: A critique of political economy, 1. London: Penguin Classics.

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Hamilton, Alexander. 1793. Report on the Subject of Manufactures. London: J Debrett.

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Murphy, Kevin M., Schleifer Andrei, and Robert W. Vishny. 1989. Industrialization and the Big Push. The Journal of Political Economy. 97 (5): 1003–1026.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Suehiro, Akira. 2008. Catch up industrialisation–the trajectory and prospects of east Asian economies. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Kim, Kihwan, and Danny Leipziger. 1993. Korea: A Case of Government Led Development. In Lessons from East Asia, ed. Danny Leipziger. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Rodrik, Dani. 1995. Getting Interventions Right: How South Korea and Taiwan Grew Rich. Economic Policy 10 (20): 53–107.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Weiss, John. 2005. Export Growth and Industrial Policy: Lessons from the East Asian Miracle Experience. Asian Development Bank Institute Discussion Paper No. 26.

  16. 16.

    Wade, Robert. 1990. Governing the Market: Economic Theory and the Role of Government in East Asian Industrialization. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Lin, An-loh. 1995. Trade Effects of Foreign Direct Investment – Evidence for Taiwan with Four ASEAN Countries. Review of World Economics 131 (4): 737–747.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Selover, David D. 1999. International Interdependence and Business Cycle Transmission in ASEAN. Journal of the Japanese and International Economies. 13 (3): 230–253.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    World Bank. 1993. The East Asian Miracle: Economic Growth and Public Policy. New York: World Bank Policy Research Reports.

    Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Fukuyama, Francis. 1992. The End of History and the Last Man. New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Rosovsky, Henry. 1961. Capital formation in Japan–1868-1940. New York: The Free Press of Glencoe.

    Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Veblen, Thorsten. 1915. Imperial Germany and the Industrial Revolution. New York: Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Krugman, Paul. 1994. The Myth of Asia's Miracle. Foreign Affairs Magazine 73 (6): 62–78.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Krugman, Paul. 1979. A Model of Balance of Payments Crises. Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking 11: 311–325.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Balassa, Bela. 1981. The Newly Industrializing Countries in the World Economy. New York: Pergamon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Balassa, Bela. 1982. Development Strategies in Semi-Industrialising Economies. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Belassa, Bela. 1961. The Theory of Economic Integration, Homewood. Illinois: Greenwood Press.

    Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Bernard, Mitchel, and John Ravenhill. 1995. Beyond Product Cycles and Flying Geese: Regionalization, Hierarchy, and the Industrialization of East Asia. World Politics 47 (2): 171–209.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Doner, Richard F. 1992. Limits of State Strength, Toward an Institutionalist View of Economic Development. World Politics 44 (30): 398–431.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Pritchett, L., and H. Summers Lawrence. 2014. Asiaphoria Meet Regression to the Mean. NBER Working Paper No. 20573.

  31. 31.

    Samuels, Richard J. 1983. The Industrial Destructuring of the Japanese Aluminum Industry. Pacific Affairs 56 (3): 495–509.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Halevi, Joseph. 1992. Asian Capitalist Accumulation: From Sectoral to Vertical Integration. Journal of Contemporary Asia 22 (4): 444–470.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Riskin, Carl. 1987. China's Political Economy–The Quest for Development Since 1949. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Vogel, Ezra F. 1979. Japan As Number One: Lessons for America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Johnson, Chalmers. 1982. MITI and the Japanese Miracle: The Growth of Industrial Policy, 1925–1975. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Equipment Industry Division. 2016. Three Indicators Show China's Shipbuilding Ahead of the International Market in 2015. Accessed 30 Sep 2016

  37. 37.

    China Economic Net. 2017. Yang Yiyong: 'The Belt and Road Initiative' Promoting the Global Winds of Winwin Prosperity. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  38. 38.

    Krugman, Paul. 1991. Geography and Trade. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.

    Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    Krugman, Paul. 1995. Development, Geography and Economic Theory. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.

    Google Scholar 

  40. 40.

    Kaldor, Nicholas. 1970. The Case for Regional Policies. Scottish Journal of Political Economy 17 (3): 337–348.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. 41.

    Shih, Lea. 2017. Aerospace Experts in China’s New Leadership. China Policy Institute: Analysis. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  42. 42.

    Wang, Xiwen. 2017. Wang Xiwen: The Belt and Road Initiative: International Capacity Cooperation from a Spatio-Temporal Perspective. China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Electronics and Information Industry Sub-Council. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  43. 43.

    Rodrik, Dani. 2000. Institutions for High-Quality Growth: What They are and How to Acquire Them. Studies in Comparative International Development. 35 (3): 3–33.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. 44.

    Rodrik, Dani. 2001. The Global Governance of Trade: As if Development Really Mattered. New York: United Nations Development Program.

    Google Scholar 

  45. 45.

    American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation. 2017. China Global Investment Tracker. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  46. 46.

    Wübbeke, Jost et al. 2016. Made in China 2025—The Making of a High-Tech Superpower and Consequences for Industrial Countries. Mercator Institute of China Studies, MERICS Papers on China No. 2. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  47. 47.

    Rafferty, Tom. 2017. Getting a Grip on Supply-Side Structural Reforms-Progress and Outlook on China’s Economic Reforms. American Chamber of Commerce in the People's Republic of China. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  48. 48.

    The Paper. 2017. Miao Wei Minister of Industry and Information: Encourage Foreign Investment in China's Advanced Manufacturing, High-end Equipment and other Industries. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  49. 49.

    Dynon, Nicholas. 2008. 'Four Civilizations' and the Evolution of Post-Mao Chinese Socialist Ideology. The China Journal 60: 83–109.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. 50.

    Oswald, James P. F. What Does Eco-civilisation 生态文明 Mean? The China Story. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  51. 51.

    State Council Information Office. 2017. Miao Wei: The Development of New Industries Should be Equal to the Transformation and Upgrading of Traditional Industries. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  52. 52.

    Kenderdine, Tristan. 2017. China’s Industrial Policy, Strategic Emerging Industries, and Space Law. Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies 4 (2): 325–342.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. 53.

    Xinjiang SASAC. 2017. Xinjiang Zhongtai Group Signed 'Sino-Kazakhstan Cross-border RMB Capacity Cooperation Fund' Strategic Cooperation Agreement. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  54. 54.

    State Council of the People’s Republic of China. 2015. Guowuyuan guanyu tuijin guoji channeng he zhuangbei zhizao hezuo de zhidao yijian. (Guiding Opinions on Promoting International Capacity Cooperation and Equipment Manufacturing) Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  55. 55.

    Liu, Jiamin. 2017. Guiding Opinions on Promoting International Cooperation in Industrial Capacity and Equipment Manufacturing. Mizuho Research Institute, China Policy Brief. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  56. 56.

    Bachmann, David M. 1985. Chen Yun and the Chinese Political System. Berkeley: Institute of East Asian Studies.

    Google Scholar 

  57. 57.

    Kenderdine, Tristan, and Ling Han. 2018. International Capacity Cooperation—Financing China’s Export of Industrial Overcapacity. Global Policy 9(1).

  58. 58.

    Chen, Ling & Naughton, Barry. 2011. The Emergence of Chinese Techno-Industrial Policy – From Mega Projects to Strategic Emerging Industries 2003–2011, Conference on the Political Economy of China’s Technology and Innovation Policies.

  59. 59.

    Heilman, Sebastian and Shih, Leah. 2013, The Rise of Industrial Policy in China, 1978-2012, Harvard Yenching Institute Working Papers Series.

  60. 60.

    Brovkin, Vladimir N. 1987. The Mensheviks after October—Socialist Opposition and the Rise of the Bolshevik dictatorship. Cornell: Cornell University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  61. 61.

    Huang, Cary. 2013. Party's Third Plenum Pledges 'Decisive Role' for Markets in China's Economy. South China Morning Post. Accessed 20 December 2017.

  62. 62.

    Wei Lingling. 2017. China’s Xi Approaches a New Term with a Souring Taste for Markets. Wall Street Journal. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  63. 63.

    Ministry of Commerce. 2017. Ministry of Commerce issues 'Thirteenth Five-year Plan for Foreign Trade Development.' Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  64. 64.

    Ministry of Science and Technology. 2016. 13th Five-year Plan on Science, Technology, and Innovation. Beijing. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  65. 65.

    Caixin. 2017a. Miao Wei: New Energy Vehicle Policy There is no Discrimination Against Foreign Investment. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  66. 66.

    Caixin. 2017b. Minister of Industry and Information Miao Wei to Promote the Implementation of 'Made in China 2025.' Accessed 20 December 2017.

  67. 67.

    Battke, Jessica & Stepan, Matthias. 2016. Party, State and Individual Leaders: The Who’s Who of China’s Leading Small Groups. Mercator Institute for China Studies. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  68. 68.

    China Reform Net. 2017. Xu Shaoshi Holds New Economic Normalization and Supply-side Reform Conference (full text). Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  69. 69.

    People's Daily. 2017. Xu Shaoshi: Support for Foreign Investment Policy Has not Changed will not Change. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  70. 70.

    Inner Mongolia News. 2017. Inner Mongolia and the Ministry of Industry Sign Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement: Miao Wei, Li Jicheng Attend Signing Ceremony. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

  71. 71.

    Yang, Jiechi. 2017. Study and Implement General Secretary Xi Jinping's Thought on Diplomacy in a Deep-Going Way and Keep Writing New Chapters of Major-Country Diplomacy with Distinctive Chinese Features. English Translation published in Xinhua as Full text of Chinese state councilor's article on Xi Jinping's Diplomacy Thought. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tristan Kenderdine.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kenderdine, T. Death of the East Asian Goose and the Rise of China’s Geoindustrial Policy. J OF CHIN POLIT SCI 23, 437–453 (2018).

Download citation


  • Flying geese
  • Development economics
  • Industrial policy
  • Belt and road
  • International capacity cooperation
  • Parallel trade