Authors:

  • William Overholt

Abstract

Summer 2022, Paper: "China’s economic aspirations have evolved rapidly. What has remained constant for centuries is a determination to return to the domestic wealth and international power that most Chinese view as the only acceptable norm for a civilization that long led the global economy. Under Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin (1978–2003), the leadership’s model of how to achieve that evolved rapidly in the direction of market-oriented reform and international opening to trade and investment, along with politi-cal and administrative institutionalization and meritocracy. Under Hu Jintao (2003–2013), reform, opening, and institutionalization as thus understood largely stagnated; that administration’s achievements focused on elimination of some unfair treatment of farmers, spreading the economic miracle to China’s interior, and surviving the 2008 global financial crisis. Hu’s legacy included these achievements, but also worsened problems of coordinating parts of the central government, dissonance between the central and local governments, and a spectacular increase in the visible scale of corruption. "