The Political Economy of China's Economic Reform

Observations on China and Socialism

Author: Victor D. Lippit


In China and Socialism: Market Reforms and Class Struggle, Martin Hart-Landsberg and Paul Burkett present a withering critique of China's market reforms and development strategy. To assess their critique, I believe it is essential to provide a somewhat fuller discussion of the context within which China's reform strategy emerged than appears in the work of Hart-Landsberg and Burkett. My discussion of this context appears after a brief discussion of their main points, and is followed in turn by a more detailed evaluation of the specific assertions they make. Although I am sympathetic to the spirit of their critique, I believe that in the last analysis they are unable to offer any genuine alternative to the development strategy China has pursued and that their analysis of the consequences of that strategy is in many respects deeply flawed.
Regions: East Asia
Countries: China

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September 2005
© FAO/Giulio Napolitano