The first article published for a forthcoming special issue about Marxist Perspectives on East Asia is “The Future of the Chinese Economy: Four Perspectives (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2019.1623906). It is authored by Minqi Li of the Department of Economics, University of Utah in the USA. The special issue is scheduled for 2020.
This article studies the future prospect of the Chinese economy using four different perspectives: neo-classical, Marxian, world-system and climate stabilisation. While the neo-classical perspective suggests that China can maintain a relatively decent pace of economic growth for decades to come, the Marxian analysis finds that the Chinese economy will confront a major crisis in the coming years due to internal contradictions of capitalist accumulation. The world-system analysis suggests that there has been a “ceiling of development” that historically has limited the scope of development for the great majority of the world population and China will hit this “ceiling of development” within about a decade. Moreover, if China were to fulfil its climate stabilisation obligations, it may prove to be impossible for the current system to maintain economic and political stability.