LSE IDEAS has released a major report on China’s economic, political and foreign policy direction as it marks the 40th anniversary of landmark economic reforms which have shaped the world’s most populated country.
The School’s foreign policy think tank this week launched “From Deng to Xi: Economic Reform, the Silk Road and the Return of the Middle Kingdom” after presenting it to the UK Cabinet and House of Commons.
The LSE IDEAS China Foresight report is authored by senior contributors from politics, journalism and academia and analyses how China’s rise as a global power since 1978 has shaped the country and influenced its relations with the rest of the world.
Report editor, Dr Yu Jie, says the report reveals that China is now at a crossroads, politically and economically.
She said: “For many years there has been an intense debate in the West about the rise of China – with wide ranging views being expressed about its economic system, its political order and of course its foreign policy. China deserves better, requiring grounded and nuanced analysis, not just crowd pleasing sensational headlines that paint a picture only in black and white.”
Dr Yu Jie recently appeared as an expert witness at the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee inquiry into the UK’s relationship with China. Her input is part of a number of regular exchanges between the LSE China Foresight team and the UK Government discussing the future direction of China’s foreign policy.
“Apart from frequent policy engagements, this LSE IDEAS Special Report is part of a much wider conversation that needs to be had about the causes and consequences of the return of the 'Middle Kingdom’,” Dr Yu Jie said.
“Deng Xiaoping’s landmark reforms in 1978 not only built modern China, but also profoundly shaped China’s view of the world and conduct of diplomacy. Deng's long-lasting legacy, as many of the contributors to this special report point out, has been to create a paradigm shift in international affairs in the late 20th century in which China - unlike previous ‘rising powers’- will be able to rise peacefully.
“After nearly 40 years of economic reform at home and a bold opening to the global economy during the 1990s, China is again at the crossroads and asking itself where it might be heading. Whether China's bureaucracy and government is yet fully equipped with the skills or capacities to meet the new challenges going ahead remains to be seen.
“Yet the rest of the world still has a profound interest in a reform-oriented China. It is unlikely China will get a Western-style form of government any time soon – which many in the West want – but before we can arrive at any firm conclusions about the country and its future we would all be well advised to study it first.”
View the LSE IDEAS Special Report “From Deng to Xi: Economic Reform, the Silk Road and the Return of the Middle Kingdom”
The report authors are: Sir Vince Cable, Professor Michael Cox, Jonathan Fenby, Dr Yu Jie (Cherry); Guy de Jonquieres; Gideon Rachman; and Geoffrey (Xiuyuan) Yu.