Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Enter the Dragon

Yu Yongding and Zhang Jun

Can China’s economy slow without stalling? Is China ready to become a consumer society? How is Chinese sovereign investment and the rise of Chinese multinational companies affecting the world economy? Can China tackle pollution without sacrificing growth? Will the demographic effects of its one-child policy come to haunt tomorrow’s leaders?

If China’s recent history is any guide, another period of momentous change may be on the horizon. Every decade or so since the People’s Republic was established in 1949, China has experienced a convulsive shift of gears – the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms, the anti-government demonstrations of 1989 and their aftermath, and the emergence of China as a global economic power.

Today, if China changes, the whole world will feel the impact. And two analysts intimately connected with China’s highest-level internal debates, Yu Yongding and Zhang Jun, are particularly well placed to identify incipient changes and emerging economic trends.

Yu, a former member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the People’s Bank of China and former President of the China Society of World Economics, is a member of the Advisory Committee of National Planning of the Commission of National Development and Reform. Zhang is Professor of Economics and Director of the China Center for Economic Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai. As two of China’s most influential economists and leading reformers, their views are closely followed worldwide for clues concerning how China’s leaders are thinking about the global economy.

Every month in Enter the Dragon, written exclusively for Project Syndicate, Yu Yongding and Zhang Jun examine the forces and policies that are shaping China’s economy – and spell out what they mean for the rest of the world.

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