An Introduction to the Chinese Economy


China's economic juggernaut continues to astound the world year after year. Even in the face of the US financial crisis, China continued to drive strong economic growth. But what are the factors behind the success? This concise introduction to the modern Chinese economy from noted expert Rongxing Guo provides many of the answers.

Based extensively on the author's research, the book analyzes the social, economic, and political history of China and the effect of reform at local, regional, and national levels. In the course of his analysis the author addresses both the positive and negative consequences of the transformation.

Written by one of China's top economic scholars, An Introduction to the Chinese Economy offers the reader  fascinating insights into the most significant transformational event of the 21st century. The book will be an essential resource for scholars, business people, policymakers, and general audiences throughout the world. It is also suitable for classroom use in undergraduate courses.

Rongxing Guo is currently a professor and Head of the Regional Economics Committee at the Regional Science Association of China at Peking University. He is also Visiting Fellow for Foreign Policy at the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, at the Brookings Institution. 

Guo specializes in regional economics with an emphasis on Chinese economic issues and in cross-border and cross-cultural issues. He has over 20 years of experience in teaching and research in China, as well as in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Germany, and the US. His recent research projects include cross-cultural economic management, intercultural economic analysis, cross-border resource management, conflict management in disputed areas, economic growth and income distribution, and Chinese economic reform.

In 2008, Guo received an award for Outstanding Research in the Ninth Global Development Conference held in Australia. He has published more than 20 books in both English and Chinese.

List of figures.

List of tables.

List of abbreviations.


Notes from the author.

Chapter 1: A brief history of China.

The origins of the nation.

Rise and fall of the empire.

China in the new millennium.

Chapter 2: Spatial and administrative divisions.

Administrative divisions.

Great regions.

Geographical belts.

Southern and northern parts.

Ethno-cultural areas.

Chapter 3: The foundation of the Chinese economy (I).

Land and water.

Minerals and energy resources.

Environmental quality.

Policy implications.

Chapter 4: The foundation of the Chinese economy (II).


Labor and education.

Technological innovation.

Cultural influence.

Chapter 5: Political and economic systems.

Party versus state.

State and market.

Market-oriented reform.

Enterprise management.

Finance and banking.

Future perspective.

Chapter 6: Economic growth and social justice.

Economic growth.

Regional economic differences.

How (un)equal is the Chinese society?

Poverty and social security.

Chapter 7: International economic engagement.

Historical background.

China opens its door.

Foreign direct investment.

Foreign trade.

Chapter 8: Studying Chinese economics: Key issues.

Why China has a collectivistic culture.

Why China adopted a gradual economic reform.

Why the Chinese economy cannot be spatially optimized.

Why China's long-term growth isn’t sustainable.


A historical chronology.

China's cultural similarity with your country.