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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

China’s risky economic model still alluring

In his landmark article, Joshua Cooper Ramo introduced the concept of the “Beijing consensus” as an alternative model of development to the Washington consensus. While the Washington consensus focused on financial liberalisation and openness to foreign capital, China’s approach emphasized principles of equality, innovation, sovereignty, and national security. This new paradigm held appeal for many developing countries seeking a different path to progress.

Over the past two decades, China’s leaders have downplayed any intentions of exporting their state-led model of development. However, there have been instances where they have openly touted the success of their economic model as a viable alternative to Westernisation. President Xi Jinping, in particular, has highlighted how China’s growth has provided more options for developing countries, giving them an alternative to the traditional Western model.

The influence of the Beijing consensus has been felt across the globe, with leaders from various developing nations praising aspects of China’s approach. Figures like Imran Khan from Pakistan, Mahathir Mohamad from Malaysia, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from Brazil, and Cyril Ramaphosa from South Africa have all acknowledged the benefits of adopting elements of the Chinese model. This recognition has further elevated China’s diplomatic and military standing on the world stage, as evidenced by its quadrupling in size in real dollar terms over the years.

The evolution of the Beijing consensus has sparked debates about the future of global development and the role of different models in shaping economic progress. While the Washington consensus remains a dominant force in international finance, the Beijing consensus has proven to be a formidable alternative that resonates with many developing countries. As China continues to expand its influence and outreach, the impact of its unique approach to development will continue to shape global economic discourse for years to come.

In conclusion, the Beijing consensus represents a distinctive approach to development that challenges the traditional Western model advocated by the Washington consensus. With a focus on equality, innovation, sovereignty, and national security, China’s economic model has garnered attention and admiration from leaders in developing countries. As China’s influence grows, the debate between competing development paradigms will only intensify, shaping the future of global economic relations.

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