The financial crisis that exploded in September 2008 transformed a benign global political and economic context into something more malign (Razeen Sally, 2011). On one hand, the end of 2011 sees the lethargy of Western economies continue with their futures uncertain. On the other, China has rebounded quickly, leading other east-Asian countries out of the crisis. To identify the presence of causal links between the global downturn and China’s positive performance and international outcomes more generally, the author uses some of the analytic tools of theoretical research from both David Singer’s Level of Analysis-model and the Wendtian structure-actor model. 1. China – one of the winners in the 2008 - 2011 economic downturn For more than a decade, China has been following a path of evolutionary reform, crucial to which is the establishment of the socialist market economy. It is strikingly different from the Soviet model and models of Western countries. The new system respects the role of market mechanisms yet emphasizes the government’s position regarding strong macro-regulatory functions. Its success is exemplified by China’s gross domestic product (GDP) growing at an average of 9 per cent (%) per year over the period (CIA The World Fact Book). When the crisis broke out, recognized to be in 2008, China’s GDP grew by 8.7%, overcoming the target outlined by Premier Wen Jiabao. In 2009, China, which eclipsed Japan as the world's second-biggest economy, saw growth of 10.7% in the final three months compared to the previous year. The Chinese economy grew a further 10% in the final three months of 2010 (Telegraph, 2010). And beyond trade and investment, China has become a major creditor nation. These achievements show that, for China, with its unique and successful path to development, the gains from the global economic downturn have so far justified the risks. Locating the causal link between China’s gains and the current financial crisis From a top-down approach,...
References: 1. CIA The world Fact Book, available at http://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/ [accessed 9th October, 2011].
2. Lardy, Nicholas (2010), China the New Great Economic Challenge? Web. 3 Dec., available at
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