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China’s Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the US

China’s Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States, Wayne M. Morrison, Specialist in Asian Trade and Finance. August 26, 2017. [via FAS]
“Prior to the initiation of economic reforms and trade liberalization 36 years ago, China maintained policies that kept the economy very poor, stagnant, centrally-controlled, vastly inefficient, and relatively isolated from the global economy. Since opening up to foreign trade and investment and implementing free market reforms in 1979, China has been among the world’s fastest-growing economies, with real annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaging nearly 10% through 2016. In recent years, China has emerged as a major global economic power. It is now the world’s largest economy (on a purchasing power parity basis), manufacturer, merchandise trader, and holder of foreign exchange reserves. The global economic crisis that began in 2008 greatly affected China’s economy. China’s exports, imports, and foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows declined, GDP growth slowed, and millions of Chinese workers reportedly lost their jobs. The Chinese government responded by implementing a $586 billion economic stimulus package and loosening monetary policies to increase bank lending. Such policies enabled China to effectively weather the effects of the sharp global fall in demand for Chinese products, but may have contributed to overcapacity in several industries and increased debt by Chinese firms and local government. China’s economy has slowed in recent years. Real GDP growth has slowed in each of the past six years, dropping from 10.6% in 2010 to 6.7% in 2016, and is projected to slow to 5.7% by 2022.”

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