chapter
9 Pages

Introduction

WithLee Lai To

The introduction starts with a brief analysis of China’s developmental strategy when compared with the Western liberal model. It is noted that China, as a communist state, is now emphasizing free trade, globalization and multilateralism, strategies, concepts, and policies that are supposed to be promoted by the Western world. Nonetheless, these “liberal” emphases by China in international economics and politics should be coupled with the understanding of the “conservative” developmental strategies and approaches at home. Notably, while the market plays a role in parts of the economy, what China has is essentially state capitalism. The hand of the government is omnipresent. The leadership of the Party is the golden rule. Essentially, China takes a pragmatic approach highlighting independence and self-determination in meeting the developmental challenges according to the needs of the country. In this regard, a summary of the Chinese model is given. This is followed by the highlights of each chapter in the volume. The introduction ends with the observation that East Asia may find it easier to adjust to a rising China for mutual developmental benefits. However, in the light of the trade war, or strategic competition, between China and the US, small and medium states in East Asia will have to perform a delicate balancing act in this major power competition.