Chinese Whispers

Does China need a new economic playbook?

41 min listen

In This Episode

At the end of last year, some thought that the Chinese economic recovery after three years of zero Covid could happen just as fast as zero Covid itself ended being government policy. I admit, that included me.

And yet, more than halfway into 2023, that recovery looks increasingly elusive. The Chinese economy has failed to shake off its own long Covid while other structural problems have reared their heads.

What does the future hold for the Chinese economy? Is this the new normal? And if so, is that really a problem?

I’m joined on this episode by the economist Keyu Jin, author of The New China Playbook: Beyond Socialism and Capitalism. Keyu is an associate professor at the London School of Economics and advised and consulted for the World Bank and the IMF.

Keyu has divided opinion. Unlike some other English-language economists, she is sympathetic to the Chinese political and economic structure, arguing, as you’ll hear, that Chinese state intervention can often virtuous; that the Chinese people value stability more than liberty.

On the episode, I challenge these views as we discuss what the macro data tells us about the health of the Chinese economy, and whether there are reasons to be optimistic for China’s politics and economy in the years to come.


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