The pact that China has made with globalisation, trading huge external dependence for miraculous export growth, may be unravelling.The crisis in the West is hurting exports, and inflation and bubbles at home are creating unrest in the vital coastal regions. With a crucial contest for Chinese leadership in 2012, Beijing is involved in a crucial debate about the value of two competing models of development that will influence who leads the country and its future direction.
The Chongqing experiment is based around a metropolis in Central China, which has – under the leadership of Bo Xilai – used massive state subsidies to woo flagship foreign firms like Apple, launched a giant social housing programme and fought the mafia.
The rival Guangdong model from Canton is instead based upon moving up the technological value chain, reinforcing the rule of law and representation of the people by NGOs.
The latest edition of China Analysis (‘One or two Chinese models?’), published by ECFR and Asia Centre, explores this debate over China’s future development, and the role the debate plays in the contest for leadership in Beijing.
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