Asan Plenum


Panel: Democracy and Economic Crisis (Regency Room)
Date/Time: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 / 17:00-18:15
Talking Points for: Yukon Huang, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Three decades of economic liberalization has restored much of the vibrancy that China last displayed two centuries ago when it accounted for the dominant share of the world’s economy. Yet its political system seems to have been caught in a time warp. China’s impressive growth record has been facilitated by a unique relationship between Beijing and the provinces that encourages experimentation and incentivizes officials for economic growth?and for the most part this helped maintain political stability. While these arrangements spurred economic liberalization, political liberalization was put on hold. But rapid growth has not spared China from increasing social unrest given frustrations over widening economic disparities and concerns about corruption and whether the system treats everyone fairly. Some now question the regime’s capacity to forge a new economic model and also deal with society’s concerns. Speculation has intensified about the potential for economic and political reforms that would be acceptable to the Communist Party and still supportive of China’s broader objectives.