The book provides insights into the economic and social transformation that China has undergone from 1979 to the present. Based on the author’s research in China for over three decades, the book shows how its ‘reform and open door’ policy evolved and helped achieve tremendous economic success. However, it also generated serious social and environmental problems. The book presents that the consequences of this success story of growth are so strong that it has been difficult for China to change its main development path to achieve a desirable level of equity and sustainability. The author describes this as the ‘success trap’ that China is currently grappling with.
The author argues that China’s reform path is grounded in the premises of the European Industrial Revolution backed by strong socio-political forces at home, indicating that a major change in the development path is unlikely. However, all indications point to a strong and prosperous China as a rising world power in the coming decades, trying to cope with the socio-political problems in its own way.
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