Global China

In a new review available at the JCA publisher’s website, Kosmas Tsokhas reviews The Global Rise of China (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2017.1300832) by Alvin Y. So and Yin-wah Chu, published by Polity Press.

Tsokhas begins by noting that So and Chu explore “the phenomenal economic transformation of China, … [and] provide a ‘state-centered explanation’ when they argue that the ‘communist party-state’ released or constrained marketisation by means of ‘state neoliberalism’.”

Their discussion of the challenges faced by the Communist party-state, “So and Chu reiterate that, although what remains of the socialist economy has dwindled and diminished, state neo-liberalism will continue to proceed by adaptations and adjustments, by speed-ups and slow-downs, which will be complicated by the interdependence between provincial and local authorities and their business supporters.”

He concludes his review noting that:

To date, China’s global and regional geo-political future is uncertain and may involve brinkmanship in Asia with the US and its allies, even though some of them have started to hedge between the US and China. While a majority of Chinese respondents to surveys share nationalist attitudes and have confidence in the regime’s ability to get economic results and to improve living standards, there is evidence of disquiet over income inequality, unfair working conditions, arbitrary land expropriations, administrative corruption and environmental degradation that lead to “mass incidents.” So, to paraphrase the authors, the Communist Party-state will still need to deflect, pre-empt, institutionalise, or, as a last resort, repress social conflict and civil unrest.

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