chapter  18
8 Pages

New Structural Economics

A first attempt at theoretical reflections on China–Africa engagement and its limitations
WithTang Xiaoyang

Tang Xiaoyang’s chapter explores one aspect of efforts by Chinese researchers to analyze new South–South partnerships and China’s relations with Africa from their own perspectives, namely the New Structural Economics of Justin Yifu Lin and Wang Yan. Partly presented as an alternative to Washington Consensus policy prescriptions and mainstream Western economics theory, this also underscores the increasing influence of Chinese contributions to the theories and practices of international development. A key component of New Structural Economics, the notion that structural economic transformation can be propelled through measures like industrial policies and special economic zones, is supported by examples from China’s domestic reform and international practices. Africa is a particular focus area of this theory. However, the limitations of New Structural Economics, including its applicability to diverse cases and the political and economic challenges of industrialisation in underdeveloped countries, is examined before the potential of theoretically informed economic analyses and the value of multi-disciplinary research on China and Africa relations is affirmed.