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About this book

This book aims to delve deeper into China’s Road studies, bringing together China’s leading scholars from different disciplines to examine, with reference to the grand strategies of major powers in the world, the strategically important issues that China faces, the interactions between domestic politics and international politics, and the way in which China seeks to become a world player. The book contains articles analyzing the history and reality of China’s road, domestic and international foundations of China’s Road, and China’s Road and the world’s future. The authors also discuss the unique aspects of China’s Road, as the properties and the selection of the system, ideas, and development model all comprise an unalterable socialist direction, government-led market economic system, human-oriented core ideas, and gradual reform. With balanced and peaceful development, cooperation, and mutual benefits as outstanding characteristics, China’s Road will ensure that China continues to progress.

Table of Contents




Chapter 1. Deepening Research on China’s Road and Strengthening China’s Discourse Power

Since entering the twenty-first century, the global community has been discussing and paying closer attention to China. Thus, “China’s Road” continues to be the focus of hot discussions, of which various perspectives emerge. From the “Beijing Consensus” proposed by Joshua Cooper Ramo to Martin Yacques’ prediction of “China’s domination of the world,” the world both looks forward to China’s Road and is concerned about China’s future development direction. Regarding the evaluation and prospect of China’s Road, there are various versions of the “China Threat” theory and “the Collapse of China.” However, the “China Responsibility” theory is more commonly discussed and commentary about “China’s Opportunity” and the “China Contribution” theory continue. This includes not only an objective analysis of China’s Road but also many misunderstandings, exaggerations, and even intentional distortions. Many developing countries closely follow the experience of China’s Road, while numerous Western scholars have used their inherent theories to explain the phenomenon. However, they are unable to provide an objective analysis and always present views mingled with ideologies and political bias.
Honghua Men

History and Reality of China’s Road


Chapter 2. China’s Road in the Light of Historical Continuity

It is indisputable that China has developed from a weak to a strong country. Did this change erupt suddenly, or did it have deep historical roots? If the former, its vigorous ascent would be unsustainable, and would be followed by an abrupt decline. If the latter, this implies that China’s long process of historical accretion enabled the country to seize the opportunity for a sustainable rise based on historical continuity. China’s rise was accompanied by the gradual formation of the socialist road with Chinese characteristics following reform and opening up. This process was based not only on the social reforms that preceded reform and opening up but also on the long history of Chinese civilization. Only through a full understanding of the historical foundation of Chinese civilization and its tortuous course can we fully understand the great significance of the Chinese people’s opening up a socialist road with Chinese characteristics and achieving China’s rise under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). China’s Road’s most striking feature is historical continuity rather than rupture, and the main force behind this continuity is its intrinsic dynamism and vitality. The long history of China’s agrarian civilization prepared the basic formal elements for the country’s modernization. Once new elements were injected, the old civilization could be rapidly revitalized and rejuvenated. Chinese “confidence in the road” was not a momentary intoxication but a “deep-rooted confidence with profound historical sources.” Of course, the underlying continuity of China’s Road contained elements of resuscitating the past that needed rational reform if they were to continue. The study of China’s Road must analyze China within the coordinates of “world progress” and from the dimension of the longue durée in order to rediscover China through comparison, identify positive genes and genetic defects in the Chinese historical heritage and find the common values, unique functions and historical limitations in the underlying history of China’s Road.
Xu Yong

Chapter 3. China’s Path to Modernization (1949–2014)

In 1949, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was established and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference was convened to formulate the “Common Program” and elect the Central People’s Government Committee of the People’s Republic of China. Mao Zedong then declared the PRC to be founded. He said, “China’s history has opened a new era from now on.” He predicted that “as the high tide of the economic construction arrives, the cultural construction will also usher in its high tide. The era under which Chinese were considered uncivilized has passed and we will appear in the world as a nation with a highly-developed culture.” This signifies China’s formal entry into its era of modernization. For many Western countries this process has took hundreds of years and for Japan it took 70–80 years after the Meiji Restoration. How then should China start its industrialization and modernization? How should it chase after its forerunners? Is it possible for China to become a modernization transcender and inventor?
Hu Angang

Domestic Foundations of China’s Road


Chapter 4. China’s Five-Year Plan and Transformation of China’s Governance Modernization

The 3rd Plenary Session of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) proposed the general objective of modernizing the national governance system and governance capacity. Comrade Xi Jinping pointed out that the national governance system and governance capacity are the concentrated embodiment of a country’s system and institutional executive capacity, which supplement each other. The modernization of the national governance system and national governance capacity does not involve evolution toward a certain preset mode, but a self-improvement process of the institutional system.
Yan Yilong, Jiang Jiaying

Chapter 5. Tradition, Cultural Modernization and Soft Power: China’s Anxiety and Options

Modernization is a worldwide historical phenomenon. The global expansion of Western culture, as a universal force, has promoted the ubiquitous shift of different traditional societies towards modernity. Along with changes in such aspects as production modes, economic patterns, social organization and political systems come the increasingly acute conflicts and contradictions between local traditions and modernity. These two competing forces are vying for control of the general public’s cultural consumption, lifestyle and values, while impacting on their attitudes and choices.
Sun Yingchun

Chapter 6. Birth Trends and Economic Growth in China (1950–2014)

Since 2008, China has entered a downward stage of moderate growth. What are the reasons behind this sudden slowdown? An accurate answer requires an in-depth analysis of multiple factors including decelerating population growth, an aging population, constrained mobility and a reduction in labor supply.
Zhou Tianyong

International Dimensions of China’s Road


Chapter 7. China’s Road to Peaceful Development: Cultural Foundation, Strategic Orientation, and Double Significance

A peaceful path to development is the strategic choice of the Chinese government and people based on the tide of development in the current era in conjunction with personal interests. History has shown that the correctness of China’s judgment of global political trends, including a comprehensive understanding of the developmental orientations of major political trends worldwide, and rational decision making in light of their inter-relations and influence at all stages, is crucial to the success or failure of this endeavor. By reflecting on the experiences and lessons drawn from the country’s reform over the past 30 years, Chinese leaders have proposed two ideas, “peace” and “development.” In the context of the joint influence and agitation of various complex political trends, “peace” and “development” have gradually emerged as the main pursuits of a majority of countries and their peoples, and is the major direction of global political development. Experience has shown that as its lasting development strategy, the path to peaceful development is adaptive to China’s circumstances and characteristics, and has made outstanding contributions to peace and development here and across the world.
Xiao Xi

Chapter 8. China’s Peaceful Development and Transformation of International Order (1985–2015)

The creation and gradual improvement of China’s peaceful development road depends not only on the implementation of domestic strategies but also, to a great extent, on successful international engagements. Thus, this represents the joining of domestic and international arrangements. At the international level, China’s road shares a natural relation with the reform of the international order. It can be said that the achievement of a stable international order symbolizes a great power’s true success. The construction of an international order is a strategic and diplomatic topic that every rising great power should address. As China ascends, the world is looking to see how China will address and participate in reshaping the international order (RIO). It will also become an important template for those countries waiting to see the effect of China’s rise.
Honghua Men

Chapter 9. China’s Road and Its Illuminations Toward Developing Countries

In the past 40 years since China’s adoption of its reform and opening-up policy, Chinese society has witnessed profound and dramatic changes on both the material and spiritual level and, in contrast to when the People’s Republic of China was founded, it has exerted an unprecedented global impact on the world. However, it must be acknowledged that China has still followed a dependent development path in the past 40 years, though featuring the least dependency and the greatest autonomy among all the developing countries that have taken a similar approach. China’s development experience not only is significant for the enhancement and development of the underdevelopment theory but also serves as a role model for those developing countries that wish to free themselves from dependency in their own development. The theoretical significance of China’s development for the underdevelopment theory is that it acknowledges the possibility that the capitalist world economy can provide developing countries with certain opportunities for development, and emphasizes the necessity for developing countries to transform their inappropriate systems and formulate suitable development strategies in order to seize opportunities for development. What developing countries can learn from China’s development is that export-oriented development is the only way for them to realize modernization. However, they should also be reminded to embrace an organic and progressive opening-up rather than pursuing an irrational and uncontrolled integration into the world economy. The government, as an extremely important player in this process, should be strong enough to provide a stable political environment and a sustainable nationalist development strategy because these are essential to attracting foreign capital and to reforming the domestic economy.
Li Bin

China’s Road and the World’s Future


Chapter 10. Aligning National Development Strategies and Building a New Type of International Relationship: A Case Study of China’s Belt and Road Initiative

As a major part of its diplomatic pursuits in the new era and its ideal vision of “peaceful development”, China needs to build a new type of international relations that is oriented to win-win cooperation and conducive to the transformation of international systems and the world order. It will take great effort to accomplish this unprecedented undertaking for the benefit of later generations. As an extremely significant and effective approach to fulfilling this undertaking, the promotion of the alignment of national development strategies can foster and strengthen the strategic mutual trust between countries with different historical and cultural traditions, social systems and development levels and concepts, and can enhance the level and quality of international cooperation, with the ultimate goal being the achievement of a win-win outcome.
Wang Cungang

Chapter 11. China as Methods While the World as Objective

China’s Road is neither a political slogan nor a fashion tag; it has a rich meaning that deserves our in-depth thinking. The chapter is going to discuss the issue of China’s Road from four dimensions: Road, expression, method, and purpose. It is not meant to be comprehensive but to inspire further discussions and debates.
Wu Xinbo
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