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Deciphering China (Part II): Capitalism or socialism?

Claudio Katz :: 12.07.22

China’s rise illustrates the contemporary dynamics of uneven and combined development. Its socialist foundation, a complementary market and capitalist parameters underpinned a model linked to globalisation but focused on the local retention of surplus. The absence of neoliberalism and financialisation have spared China the imbalances faced by its competitors. But the penetration of capitalism has generated overinvestment and surpluses that need to be unloaded abroad.
Orthodoxy explains China’s expansion as the result of an imaginary predominance of deregulation. Heterodoxy explains it as the result of the simple application of controls that failed elsewhere. Both omit China’s socialist foundation. The millenary viewpoint exalts a mythical destiny and assumes that these very recent processes have distant roots in the past.
Capitalism is present but does not yet dominate the economy. The new bourgeois class has also not obtained control of the state, but the socialist transition has been reversed and an intermediate status prevails. The limited restoration contrasts with the trajectories of Eastern Europe and Russia. A comparison with the origins of capitalism suggests the possibility of long transitions and mixed systems
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