China: Beyond socialism and capitalism – LSE Economist Keyu Jin explains the Middle Kingdom

May 5, 2024
Map of china in hand.

The Westminster Town Hall Forum in Minneapolis in the US recently hosted the leading economist, Professor Keyu Jin, from the London School of Economics, where she spoke insightfully on where China has come from – and why – and where it is headed – and why.

You can watch the entire presentation here:

The German-American Sinologist, Franz Michael (1907 – 1992) was one of the first to stress how, for more than 2,000 years, the extraordinary durability of the vast Chinese Empire relied significantly on the way it was managed with a relatively light touch, which allowed local innovation and a degree of autonomy within a giant, pre-industrial political-economy. More recently, another leading Chinese economist, Professor Xu, Chenggang has drawn on a similar understanding to explain the positive, modern decentralized economic impact arising from China’s remarkable Imperial stability (compared to post-Roman Empire Europe).

Professor Jin offers her own distinctive commentary on how, effectively, the political and economic spheres in China operate separately but still within this huge, singular political-civilization. Private economic competition has been intense, with rewards primarily going to local areas that are efficiently run with minimal corruption. Furthermore, this system has visibly opened the door for women enter into the business-world. Managing such successful local outcomes has also offered the firmest pathway to individual, elevated political success within the governing Communist Party of China, with its 100 million members.

Not all will agree with the arguments made – but most will find the discourse lucid, lively and engaging. Note 1: A helpful transcript button is provided at the link. Note 2: Professor Jin’s presentation commences at around Minute-40. It is preceded by an absorbing musical performance featuring pipa player Gao Hong and her students.

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