Past event

Invitation Only

Soaring Dragon, Stumbling Bear: China's Rise in a New Context

Event documents

Briefing Paper: Soaring Dragon, Stumbling Bear China's Rise in a Comparative Context
pdf | 229.46 KB


Mark Harrison, Professor of Economics, University of Warwick
Debin Ma, Senior Lecturer in Economic History, London School of Economics and Political Science
Discussant: Mina Toksoz, International Economist
Chair: André Astrow, Senior Consultant and Project Director, International Economics, Chatham House


The authors of the forthcoming Chatham House-CAGE Briefing Paper will present the findings of their research work followed by a roundtable discussion.

In a historic reversal of fortunes, China has overtaken the territory of the former Soviet Union in GDP per capita. The authors will argue that China's model of rapid economic development offers powerful lessons for economies in transition, but they need to be seen in the country's historical and political context. China's exceptional size and long history of regionally decentralized authoritarianism (RDA) provided perhaps the unique circumstances for this favourable outcome, conditions that were not present in the case of the Soviet Union.

The speakers will stress that the key to sustained economic development is continuous policy reform; as the country moves towards middle-income status, there is the danger that its leaders will cease to pursue reforms in the national interest and will acquiesce to bureaucratic or corporate interests.

This event will launch the sixth paper in the Chatham House-CAGE series, published in partnership with the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) at the University of Warwick.