Interrogating the China Model of Development

Yin Wah Chu, Alvin Y. So

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter identifies six controversial features as a means to interrogate the China model, often characterised by the reliance on massive state-led investment to facilitate industrial development and the export of manufactured goods. First, it reasserts the important foundation of infrastructural and institutional development achieved during the socialist era. Second, data on exports, foreign direct investment, and Renminbi (RMB) internationalisation all point to limits in its so-called autonomous, independent development. Third, the country continues to depend largely on foreign technology notwithstanding its considerable research and development (R&D) investment. Fourth, the country’s remarkable success in eliminating poverty has been achieved at the expense of worsening income inequality, harsh labour conditions, and the prevalence of authoritarian domination. This remains the case regardless of the introduction of remedial measures for workers and peasants since the 2000s. Fifth, the country has suffered from severe environmental degradation in its rush to achieve rapid industrialisation and the situation remains deplorable despite hesitant progress in recent years. Sixth, instead of being a model for other developing countries, China’s success as an export powerhouse only intensifies economic tensions and contradictions throughout the South—to the detriment of workers everywhere.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Essential Guide to Critical Development Studies
EditorsHenry Veltmeyer, Paul Bowles
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781003037187
ISBN (Print)9780367478865, 9780367478858
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Critical Development Studies


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