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How China challenges the liberal trade order: Coercion, contestation and the socialist market economy.
WORIKING PAPER 08
The original China ‘engagement strategy’ was grounded in the assumption that WTO membership would turn China into a liberal market economy. Today the engagement strategy is acknowledged as having failed by China’s largest trading partners, who increasingly view Beijing as a systemic rival. Yet, much international economics still views the engagement strategy as a viable approach for driving liberal reforms within China, indicating a growing gap between political thinking and international economics. This paper addresses that gap, arguing there are theoretical and empirical grounds that support viewing China as a rival economic system that will increasingly challenge core aspects of the existing liberal trade order.
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