Managed Chaos reads into the resounding events of Chinese politics and economy, ending the schizophrenia that the readers have lived with. It delves deep into both elements: the economic narrative that China has sustained a near 10 percent growth rate for 30 years and the political narrative that China is an increasingly fragile state, trapped in an incomplete transition from a totalitarian to a democratic market economy. For the first time, in his reading of China, the author consolidates this paradox by inferring that the cause behind both the growth and the political discontent is the politics of China.

‘Friction-Free’ Growth?

‘Friction-free’ growth?

A second myth is the relentlessness of China's 30-year spell of growth. If one were to believe the data published with commendable speed every year by the China National Bureau of Statistics, China has never known a recession. Data for the years from 1978 till 2005, given in the next chapter, show a short sharp drop in the growth rate from 10.8 per cent between 1981 and 1988 to 4.2 per cent between 1989 and 1990. They also show a less pronounced but more prolonged dip from 11.3 per cent between 1991 and 1996 to 7.9 per cent between 1997 and 2001. But the first was at least partly the economic fallout of a political crisis. As for the second, one could ...

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