Growth: its sources and consequences
In reflecting on East Asian economic expansion, the Chinese economy, because of the size of the country's population, deserves special consideration. The second part of this chapter (Section 3.8) is therefore concerned with the fast economic growth in China over the last fifteen years. The Chinese economy expanded at a rate of nearly 10 per cent per annum in the 1980s, a shade above the pace of South Korea. In the 1990s, the Chinese average annual growth rate has been even faster, nearly 2.5 percentage pOints greater than South Korea's. The important point is that when South Korea grew at nearly 8 per cent a year for fifteen years, it was an extraordinary achievement of which the world took note. But when China, with a billion people, achieved an even faster growth rate, it was not just extraordinary, but a potentially epoch-making event.