Mapping China’s Growth and Development in the Long Run, 221 Bc to 2020
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The narrative of China’s history in this book is ‘theme-led’ rather than conventionally chronicle-based. It covers China’s resource endowments, historical contingencies (such as civil wars, invasions and climate changes) and ideologies (including Legalism, Confucianism, Social Darwinism, nationalism, and Marx-Stalinism) that shaped the particular path of growth and development in China over two millennia. This book aims to take the reader through China’s remarkably long and colourful saga of growth and development, full of ups, downs, twists and turns. It shows that China’s experience has neither been linear nor trouble-free.
China’s long-term experience showcases the two fundamentals in growth and development: efficiency and equality. The lesson that one can learn from China’s long history is that distributing incomes (equality) is as important as producing them (efficiency). By the same token, to secure growth and development, the political economy of government and governance is as critical in determining growth and development as resource endowments, technology, and market exchanges. This applied to China’s past, and will inevitably apply to China’s future.