Against the background of the Asian financial crisis and the widespread slowdown projected for the region, China's economic performance has become the focus of many observing the regional economy. The main purpose of this paper is to discuss some policy issues surrounding the growth targets and performance of the Chinese economy in 1998 and beyond.
China: Twenty Years of Reform outlines the experiences of China over the past two decades. It highlights the processes of reform, successes achieved, and problems faced during the economic transition.
"China, and its relations with the international community, have been transformed. China's economy has expanded five times, and its foreign trade by twelve. It has greatly increased consumption levels of what had been about half of the world's people in poverty."
- Ross Garnaut
"Tremendous progress has been made over the past twenty years, but much more needs to be done in setting up a more open, efficient and transparent trade system, in line with the requirements of the WTO."
- Ligang Song
"Radical reform is neither in China's tradition, nor is it an easy task. Given the difficulties of the reform task and the structure of the political economy, it will probably take a few more years for China to accomplish SOE reform and reforms in other areas."
- Yiping Huang
"The most remarkable aspect of China's agricultural reform was it's "spillover" effect. Non-agricultural activities in rural China sprang up immediately after the reforms began—the gross output value of TVEs grew at 24 per cent per annum from 1978 to 1995 and employment grew at 9 per cent per annum."
Twenty-five years of reform have transformed China from a centrally planned and closed system to a predominantly market-driven and open economy. As a consequence, China is emerging as the new powerhouse for the world economy. China: new engine for world growth discusses the impact and significance of this transformation. It points out risks to the growth process and unfinished tasks of reform. It presents conclusions from recent research on growth, trade and investment, the financial sector, income and regional disparities, industrial location and private sector development. Ross Garnaut is a Professor of Economics in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, and Chairman of the China Economy and Business Program at The Australian National University. He was Australia's Ambassador to China in the 1980s.
Ligang Song is a Fellow in the Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, and Director of the China Economy and Business Program at The Australian National University.
In 2002 China enters the WTO. Long awaited by the world's trading economies, it now comes in a year of global recession. What effect will China's entry into the WTO have at a difficult time? The rapid expansion of China's trade has required large adjustment in its trading partners, and the expansion and adjustment will accelerate with WTO entry. The internal adjustment pressures in China from WTO entry are also immense. Recently dubbed Australia's Ambassador to the region by Rowan Callick of the Financial Review, Ross Garnaut was Australia's ambassador to China through an earlier exciting period when China took its first major steps towards opening to international trade and investment. He was instrumental in the development of China's thinking about the WTO.
Ross Garnaut is Chairman of the China Economy and Business Program at The Australian National University. Australian members of the Program and their associates gather each year for the China Update.
Ligang Song is leading authority on the internationalisation of the Chinese economy and on the development of the private sector in China. He has worked at Peking University and People's University in Beijing and at the International University in Tokyo.