The Chinese Economy: Fact, Fiction, Faith and Flexibility

The Chinese economy has long been a source of contention, with predictions of its “imminent collapse” pitted against portrayals of its strength and resilience. Is China’s competitive edge dying as it “runs out of people” or is slower population growth not quite that catastrophic? Will President Xi Jinping achieve his goal of Common Prosperity for all Chinese citizens, or will rampant inequality constrain economic growth and make that impossible? Is debt-trap diplomacy really a thing, or is it a myth? Can Xi’s “iron fist” deliver green growth or does it condemn China to dirty skies?

In this CIW Annual Lecture, Professor Jane Golley will draw on a range of “China narratives” to highlight how fact, fiction, faith and flexible thinking affect one’s answers to these complex questions, including her own. In so doing, she will identify factors that are likely (in her view) to constrain China’s economic growth in the decade ahead, as well as those likely to sustain it.

Professor Jane Golley is an economist in the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University. Her inter-disciplinary research centres on the Chinese economy, including the economic geography of industrial development, the economic impacts of demographic change and the impact of China’s bilateral political relations on patterns of trade. Formerly Director of the Australian Centre on China in the World, Jane has served as President of the Chinese Economic Society of Australia and the Chinese Studies Association of Australia. She is an Executive Member of the Australia-China Business Council and on the Advisory Board of the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney.

Watch the 2022 CIW Annual Lecture here.

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