China’s economic ascent over the past 40 years is considered one the defining achievements in human history. In less than two generations, an autarky closed to the outside world has managed to insert itself into every facet of modern life. From the simplest manufactured goods to sophisticated hardware, from asphalt roads to nuclear power stations, Chinese companies, predominantly state-owned, have disrupted the global production and investment chain.
The history of economic development, from the invention of the wheel to the fourth industrial revolution, is a story of disruption pushing the boundaries of productivity growth and China’s economic rise since its opening up in 1978 is no different. Such change has been welcome over the past few decades. China created jobs and wealth, while the rest of the world enjoyed a wider choice of products and services at lower prices.