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This volume is a collection of academic articles and commissioned research monographs completed at different critical junctures of China’s opening up to the West. Taken together, the various chapters trace the major policy measures adopted for the country’s integration with the global system of free trade and investment Áows, and her accelerated ascendency as a global economic power. From the vantage point of the post-global Ànancial crisis of 2008/2009, the study concludes with an interpretative assessment of the globally increasingly popular conjecture of a “Pax Sinica” being poised to help marginalize or mitigate the American hegemony, similar to Pax Americana emerging to overshadow Pax Britannica at the turn of the previous century. Such a study necessarily involves geopolitics. China’s increased integration with the global economy has indeed been marked, time and again, with geopolitical interfering, negative or positive. While Western powers generally embrace China’s strategy of gaige kaifang (reform and opening up) and her consistent transition from a centrally planned and closed economy to a marketbased and internationally opened system over the past three decades or so, by virtue of the country’s sheer magnitude, her rapid economic advances have also, quite naturally, met with political suspicion and fear from outside. This study makes an attempt to show, however, how economic imperatives normally prevail over geopolitics in favour of closer regional synergy and integration within the global framework of trade and investment liberalization. The study focuses, in particular, on China’s complex relationships with the APEC (Asia PaciÀc Economic Cooperation Forum) economies. For the purpose, a distinction is made between North APEC and South APEC on the one hand, and APEC proper and APEC at large (Full APEC) on the other hand (which embraces all member economies including those on the AmericanPaci Àc coast, from Canada and the United States in the north to Chile in the Preface viii Preface south). It examines, in the Àrst place, how China’s new policy approach has triggered a wide-ranging realignment of the production network in the Asia PaciÀc to result in the country’s remarkable rise in the region. The selected articles all fall into three major parts of the study, displaying largely a chronological order. The Àrst part deals with the emergence of the so-called Greater China economic circle; or more speciÀcally, the pace and pattern—and as well, the underlying economic forces—of Hong Kong and Taiwan being forcefully drawn into the broader economic context of mainland China commencing in the early 1980s. It also resorts to the case of Guangdong, the Chinese province bordering Hong Kong and dubbed “the Fifth Dragon”, to show how, the Greater China synergy has also helped to increasingly convert the coastal belt of China into a highly export-oriented entity, alongside the globally well-known “Four Little Dragons” (South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore). The second part of the study examines how no sooner had the basic structural parameters of Greater China as an economic phenomenon been established than the Asian Financial Crisis erupted in 1997 to seriously probe into the integrity and resilience of the three constituent Chinese economies. It shows, namely, how despite enhanced integration in the real economic sphere, the Ànancial crisis had brought the Chinese trio to bear on account of the remaining differences in institutional setting, Ànancial and monetary policy regime, and the exchange rate system. Moreover, the disparate policy measures adopted for coping with the crisis are also critically compared and assessed as to their durability and desirability. Viewed differently, this second part, together with the Àrst one, should indeed also be taken as a unique case study blending economic analysis of development with institutional and comparative economics. The third consecutive part reveals how economic and trade relations between China and the South APEC countries have also been enhanced in tandem with the emergence of the Greater China economic circle, leading eventually to the signing of the ASEAN 10+1 (China) Free Trade Area (FTA) agreement in November 2002 for formal launching in 2010. It also shows how soon after the Early Harvest Programme of the framework agreement had been put in place, a similar formal FTA agreement with the Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region), viz. CEPA (Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement), was signed by China in 2003; and how this was in turn, albeit for political reasons quiet latterly, followed by ECFA (Economic Cooperation Preface ix Framework Agreement) signed with the Taiwan authority in 2010...


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MARC Record
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