In this book, China and Capitalism, David Faure covers various topics that engage with China’s development since it changed its foreign and economic policy and embraced elements of capitalism. In part, the book explores the impact of opening up of China to the forces of international trade and investment. The author attempts to provide a balanced view about both the positive and negative aspects of China’s development. In a separate context, the book provides details on the geopolitical factors that have supported and hindered development in China in different perspectives. The book traces the growth of China from the period when the country launched its economic reforms initiative to the current levels, which reflects the varying levels of growth (Faure 61). There is critical proof of growth in many areas of the Chinese economy. Sectors such as manufacturing, engineering, and agriculture have witnessed significant growth in the span of decades.
However, the author also shows the apparent imbalances and inequalities that continue to subtract from the general picture of stability in many parts of China. On these score, the author provides compelling proof of the lopsided nature of some aspects of China’s development. The infrastructural development that has been witnessed in parts of the country is not necessarily consistent with human development (Faure 102). In one respect, the book indicates that the rush to develop China’s infrastructure comes at a heavy cost of the ordinary people. Part of this revelation is that the book shows the economic divide the privileges the welfare of the upper classes above the interests of the low class. Structurally, the Chinese society makes it difficult for people to make meaningful personal progress because the development model favors institutions, corporations, and big businesses at the expense of individuals, families, and communities.
Furthermore, the book provides a compelling read of how the political and economic sources of China’s growth continue to change in ways that have also influenced its regional power. For instance, the geopolitical power in the Asian region has been affected significantly by the growing dominance of Chinese power across the region. Countries such as Taiwan, Japan, and Vietnam have come under the influence of China’s growth, which has also entailed massive growth of its military power. However, the book explains the manner in which China has ever sought to balance its trading relationships and military dominance in the region. Such a complicated relationship continues to reflect in China’s dealing with Taiwan.
For a broad understanding of the dominating themes in the author’s analysis, the book provides a sweeping analysis of the challenges that relate to urban development in places such as Hong Kong, Guangdong, Fujian, and Taiwan. One area that receives critical attention is the tendency to develop the urban centers at the expense of the developing areas. In cross-sectional survey shows that vast populations in rural China endured years of starvation within the same period that witnessed rapid development in urban centers. On the surface, the authorities want the matter to appear as though it emerged from poor planning, however, the author explores critical evidence that suggests a deliberate government policy to exploit the countryside in order to enrich the urban centers. Perhaps, the matter could be studied alongside other arguments that have sought to illustrate the fact that China’s perceived growth is at best superficial and at worst outright scandalous.
In some way, the portrayal of China as an enduring model of progress draws on various factors that intermingle with perceptions of lack of a human-centered policy and other issues that have often engaged the attention of lobbyists and welfare groups (Faure 73). However, the book makes noticeable efforts to point a realistic picture of a country that struggles with matters of development and a range of issues of developmental interest. Alternative analyses into China’s developmental landscape have focused on matters of supply and demand as some of the most significant enablers of development. In this regard, the demand for communication infrastructure and energy is considered as the primary mover of the developmental initiatives.
In a span of decades, China has amassed physical capital that might help to propel many of its other growth parameters in the right direction. The consequence is likely to be two fold. On the one hand, China might make significant leaps in further physical expansion and provide important avenues that might pave the way for more growth and expansion. On the other hand, the country must confront the challenge of depleting oil reserves, which is already attracting concerns from countries such as the United States, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Overall, this explores the rapid and continuing development in China in light of the attendant factors that include regional and geopolitical stability. The author studies what the development in China portends for its immediate neighbors in Asia and its traditional competitors on the global market such as the United States. In part, it continues the debate regarding the impact of China’s development within a nexus of factors that include its role in the conflict-ridden parts of the world and the concerns of energy consumption. Related to this are the usual subjects of stability and the need for international cooperation to solve the problems of resource distribution and growing insecurities.
Faure, David. China and Capitalism: A History of Business Enterprise in Modern China. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2006.