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The Rise of China

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Abstract

China presents probably the most astonishing growth miracle in modern world history. This chapter shows how China has developed, starting from the Middle Ages to the present with a special focus on the “Reform and Open-door Policy” under Deng Xiaoping from 1978 onwards. Before outlining individual reforms, this chapter analyzes the special characteristics of the Chinese reform strategy which can be best described as gradualist and experimental. It then discusses the agricultural reforms, the emergence of Township and Village Enterprises, the role of special economic zones and FDI, the fiscal, financial and state-owned enterprise reforms that intensified in the 1990s, and the 2001 WTO accession. It also explains why the reform slowed down after 2003 and in how far the growth strategy has turned toward “rebalancing” under Xi Jinping.

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Fig. 4.1

Source World Bank (2021). Notes GDP per capita in constant US$2010. “SSA” stands for Sub-Saharan Africa

Fig. 4.2

Source World Bank (2021). Notes GDP per capita in constant US$2010

Fig. 4.3

Source World Bank (2021). Notes Growth rate of GDP in constant US$2010. “1” denotes the initial year of economic reforms. “CIS” stands for “Commonwealth of Independent States”

Fig. 4.4

Source Chen (1981)

Fig. 4.5

Source Lin (1992)

Fig. 4.6

Source Jefferson and Singh (1999), Table 1.3

Fig. 4.7

Source Wang (2008), Branstetter and Lardy (2014), Lardy (2002)

Fig. 4.8

Source Lardy (2002) and sources within

Fig. 4.9

Source Lardy (1992) and sources cited within

Fig. 4.10

Sources Lardy (2002)

Fig. 4.11

Source Xu (2011)

Fig. 4.12

Source Martinez-Vazquez (2006)

Fig. 4.13

Source World Bank (2020)

Fig. 4.14

Source World Bank (2020)

Fig. 4.15

Source Li (2019)

Fig. 4.16

Source Li (2019), Chap. 8. Note No data available for the year 2004

Fig. 4.17

Source Jiang et al. (2018)

Fig. 4.18

Source Own representation based on Jiang et al. (2018). Notes “JV” stands for joint venture and “CHN” for Chinese

Fig. 4.19

Source Own presentation based on Allen et al. (2014) and Cousin (2011). Notes “SHSE” stands for Shanghai Stock Exchange, “SZSE” for Shenzhen Stock Exchange, “HKSE” for Hong Kong Stock Exchange, “FDI” for foreign direct investment, “EJV” for equity joint venture, “CJV” for corporative joint venture, “WOFE” for wholly owned foreign enterprise, and “PE” for private equity

Fig. 4.20

Source Allen et al. (2014)

Fig. 4.21

Source Ma and Fung (2002)

Fig. 4.22

Source Podpiera (2006)

Notes

  1. 1.

    UNDP https://www.cn.undp.org/content/china/en/home/ourperspective/ourperspectivearticles/2019/what-changes-after-china-defeats-poverty-.html.

  2. 2.

    See also https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/china/overview#1.

  3. 3.

    This view is challenged by Pomeranz (2000) who argues that per capita income in Western Europe and China has been roughly equal until 1800. See also Sect. 4.2.

  4. 4.

    Also referred to as “The Needham Question” (after Joseph Needham who conducted research on the history of science and technology in China, particularly regarding the question of why China had been overtaken by the West, cf. Needham 1969).

  5. 5.

    Since 1925, it was led by Chiang Kai-shek. Together with the Chinese Communist Party, it presents one of the two historical parties in China.

  6. 6.

    This so-called “Second Sino-Japanese War” lasted from 1937 until 1945.

  7. 7.

    Various factors supported the rise of the socialism in the late 1940s (cf. Naughton 2018): As a consequence of the Civil War, China’s economic infrastructure and industrial capital were seriously damaged and the economy was plagued by hyperinflation. Due to various wars in the past, including the opium wars and the Sino-Japanese war, China regarded Western institutions and ideas critically. The Chinese population had suffered substantially under the Civil War and was more likely to accept strong government in order to restore stability.

  8. 8.

    However, they later played a key role under the reforms initiated by Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s.

  9. 9.

    In the absence of both events, output and consumption would have been 2.7 times as large.

  10. 10.

    Deng Xiaoping never served as Chairman or General Secretary of the CPC (see also Shambaugh 1993).

  11. 11.

    This was also partly due to the conservative politicians, including important figures such as Chen Yun (who opposed the SEZs reform) and Li Xiannian (see Chow 2007 for a more detailed discussion).

  12. 12.

    A famous slogan of the Cultural Revolution was “take grain as a key link” (yiliang weigang) (cf. Naughton 2018).

  13. 13.

    The grain first policy sometimes resulted in what Naughton (2018) refers to as a “perverse ‘reverse specialization’”, meaning that areas were growing more of the crops from which they had the least comparative advantage. To meet the quota, regions that were in fact ineligible for grain production had to devote all their land to the production of grain in order to compensate for the missing comparative advantage, whereas regions that were particularly suitable for grain production fulfilled the quotas easily and used some of the remaining land to grow cash crops instead.

  14. 14.

    As argued by Naughton (2018), the rural reforms entailed the costly trade-off, especially since China faced a shortage of foreign exchange. Because of the rise in grain imports, the government had to defer the technology import program of the “leap outward”.

  15. 15.

    In his study, Lin (1992: 48) counts 12 cash crops (namely, cotton, peanuts, rapeseed, sesame, jute, ramie, sugar cane, sugar beets, tobacco, tussah silk cocoons, mulberry silk cocoons, and tea) as well as seven grain crops (namely, rice, wheat, corn, potatoes, sorghum, millet, and soybeans).

  16. 16.

    They report a 0.4% increase for the period 1985–1990 and a 22.3% increase for the period from 1975 to 1990.

  17. 17.

    Northeast China: Heilongjiang, Liaoning, and Jilin provinces; Northern China: Municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin as well as the Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces; Southern China: Guangxi autonomous region plus the Fujian and Guangdong provinces.

  18. 18.

    That is, TVEs presented local community public firms which were owned and controlled by the township or village government (Chang and Wang 1994; Che and Qian 1998; Jin and Qian 1998).

  19. 19.

    The local government could not install trade barriers to prevent competition with other townships since the local market was usually too small to offer all necessary goods (Perotti et al. 1998).

  20. 20.

    For instance, government officials sometimes tried to prevent SOE managers from exerting their newly acquired decision-making authority; but also state firm managers tried in some instances to retain the SOEs’ profits but expected the state to take care of financial losses (Jefferson and Rawski 1994).

  21. 21.

    To be precise, first experiments were already conducted in 1977 in Jiangsu province, cf. Lin and Liu (2000).

  22. 22.

    Dalian, Qinhuangdao, Tianjin, Yantai, Qingdao, Lianyungang, Nantong, Shanghai, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Zhanjiang, and Beihai.

  23. 23.

    To be precise, these cities were economic and technological development zones (ETDZs) which were smaller than SEZs (cf. Zheng 2010).

  24. 24.

    These three laws are also known as “sanzi qiye fa” (Li 2019).

  25. 25.

    The underlying reason for this inflation spike was the unrestrained enterprise spending on capital investment and wage increases which was financed by banks which unreservedly extended credits (Cheng 1991). According to Naughton (1991), these inflation spikes could therefore have been avoided if the restructuring of the fiscal system would have occurred earlier.

  26. 26.

    However, this was still a quite high share for the manufacturing sector compared to other developing countries which focused primarily on agricultural exports.

  27. 27.

    USC US-China Institute (1993).

  28. 28.

    With the exception of Lhasa and Urumqi, cf. Chen (1997).

  29. 29.

    For instance, the administrative regulations on price, the provisional rules on the development and protection of supportive socialist competition, the administrative regulations during the 1980s and the anti-unfair competition law, the consumer rights and interests protection law, the price law, the bidding law, the foreign trade law in market economies activities, etc. during the 1990s, cf. Xian-Chu (2009).

  30. 30.

    In principle, these external effects can also emerge through backward and forward industrial linkages. However, this is less the case of the Chinese economy due to the FIEs’ focus on export processing trade (Chen 2011).

  31. 31.

    Credit quotas for joint-stock commercial banks and cooperative financial institutions had already been abolished in 1994.

  32. 32.

    Each bank received US$22.5 billion (Cousing 2011).

  33. 33.

    An auction system was introduced and the NPLs of the state-owned commercial banks were sold to the AMCs with which they were not originally paired up in order to increase market mechanisms (Okazaki 2007).

  34. 34.

    The remaining three private banks are KinCheng Bank of Tianjin, Shanghai HuaRui Bank, and Wenzhou Minshang Bank.

  35. 35.

    The situation was still somehow better for laid-off workers in wealthier regions because of more job possibilities.

  36. 36.

    In total, there were three health insurance schemes, the Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance plan, the Urban Residents Basic Medical Insurance (URBMI) plan, and the Rural Cooperative Medical Schemes (NCMS) plan.

  37. 37.

    However, as argued by Chen and Naughton (2016), the previous model has probably never really been abolished but only temporarily scaled back because of lacking state resources and development capacity.

  38. 38.

    For an excellent discussion on this issue, see Chen and Naughton (2016). Here, we only outline the most important aspects.

  39. 39.

    This number was subsequently reduced in the course of the restructuring process and various mergers. Currently, there are slightly less than 100 SOEs controlled by the SASAC.

  40. 40.

    Interestingly, among those 16 projects, there were also three that had previously been terminated by Zhu Rongji.

  41. 41.

    The ten industries were automotive, steel, textiles, shipbuilding, petrochemicals, non-ferrous metals, equipment manufacturing, information technology (IT), light industry, and logistics (EIU 2009).

Abbreviations

ABC:

Agricultural Bank of China

ADBC:

Agricultural Development Bank of China

AMC:

Asset-Management Company

AML:

Anti-Monopoly Law

BIC:

Beneficial International Cycle

BMI:

Basic Medical Insurance

BOC:

Bank of China

BOCOM:

Bank of Communications

CBRC:

China Banking Regulatory Commission

CCB:

China Construction Bank

CDBC:

China Development Bank Corporation

CDS:

Coastal Development Strategy

CEIB:

China Export–Import Bank

CFETS:

China Foreign Exchange Trading System

CHN:

Chinese

CIS:

Commonwealth of Independent States

CJV:

Contractual Joint Venture

CPC:

Communist Party of China

CPI:

Consumer Price Index

EEBP:

Enterprise Employee Basic Pension

EJV:

Equity Joint Venture

EPZ:

Export Processing Zone

ETDZ:

Economic and Technological Development Zone

FDI:

Foreign Direct Investment

FEAC:

Foreign Exchange Adjustment Center

FIE:

Foreign Invested Enterprise

FTC:

Foreign Trade Corporation

GATT:

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

GDP:

Gross Domestic Product

GIP:

Government Institution Pension

HRS:

Household Responsibility System

Hukou:

Household Registration System

ICBC:

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

IMF:

International Monetary Fund

IPO:

Initial Public Offering

IT:

Information Technology

ITA:

Information Technology Agreement

JSCB:

Joint-Stock Commercial Bank

JV:

Joint Venture

KMT:

Kuomintang

M&E:

Machinery and Electronic Equipment

MLP:

Medium- and Long-Term Program of Science and Technology

MLSP:

Minimum Living Standard Program

MOF:

Ministry of Finance

NBFI:

Non-Bank Financial Institution

NCMS:

Rural Cooperative Medical Schemes

NDRC:

National Development and Reform Commission

NEV:

New-energy Vehicle

New M&A Regulations:

Regulations Concerning the Merger and Acquisition of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors

NPL:

Nonperforming Loan

NUP:

New-type Urbanization Plan

PBC:

People’s Bank of China

PC:

Personal Computer

PPP:

Purchasing Power Parity

PRC:

People’s Republic of China

R&D:

Research and Development

RDA:

Regionally decentralized authoritarian

RMB:

Renminbi

RRC:

Rural Credit Cooperative

SASAC:

State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission

SAT:

State Administration of Taxation

SCM:

Subsidies and Countervailing Measures

SEI:

Strategic Emerging Industry

SEZ:

Special Economic Zone

SOE:

State-Owned Enterprise

SRC:

System Reform Commission

TFP:

Total Factor Productivity

TSS:

Tax Sharing System

TVE:

Township and Village Enterprise

UCC:

Urban Credit Cooperative

URBMI:

Urban Residents Basic Medical Insurance

URRSP:

Urban–Rural Resident Basic Social Pension Scheme

US:

United States of America

VAT:

Value-Added Tax

WFOE:

Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise

WTO:

World Trade Organization

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Correspondence to Linda Glawe .

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Glawe, L., Wagner, H. (2021). The Rise of China. In: The Economic Rise of East Asia. Contributions to Economics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-87128-4_4

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