Top critical review
Academic economist approach to the Chinese economy
on 8 October 2013
This is a competent enough overview of the Chinese economic success story of the last three decades although with a couple of caveats.
First of all this is more of a detailed professional economist's take on the Chinese economy than a simpler, 'everyman' account. It therefore treads into text book territory more often than not. Also although it does investigate many of the differences and unique features in the Chinese business and social system, I couldn't get over the impression that the author saw these more as idiosyncrasies that need to be ironed out so that a full-on western capitalist model can be applied, as the Chinese masses [supposedly] so rightly deserve.
In that way this is very much I felt a neo-liberal take on the phenomenon of China- which is essentially a socialist market economy - and where from a western capitalist perspective, it should be heading- i.e. toward liberal global capitalism- which is pretty much summed up in the last chapter.
This makes the book to my mind strangely out of time; China has achieved high levels of growth through a planned economy that has embraced regulated markets but within a socialist context- not as is wrongly perceived much of the time in the West, through becoming capitalistic. Although it would be churlish to say Yueh doesn't adequately address this reality, the book still comes across as wedded to the ideal of liberal global capitalism, which as we all know, is failing now as a coherent economic system. Lots of good hard data here for the Economics student though...