November 9, 2020, Paper:"Since Xi Jinping became leader of the Chinese Communist Party in 2012, he has promoted the goal of realizing the “China dream,” which centers on the effort to sustain rapid economic growth so that China can join or even surpass the rich countries of the world. Given the slowing of economic growth even before the 2020 coronavirus epidemic, debate has arisen about whether China can achieve this ambitious goal. This paper recounts the author’s personal experiences thinking about the history of China’s efforts since the Qing Dynasty to develop economically in order to ponder the issues in this debate. This overview leads to the conclusion that China’s dramatic and surprising acceleration of economic growth in the decades after 1978 was driven by circumstances and forces that no longer work in China’s favor, and that the nation now faces several serious problems that could make realization of Xi’s China dream problematic."
Non-HKS Author Website - Martin Whyte