LSE IQ Episode 28 | Is the 21st Century the Chinese century?

10.07.2019 - By LSE IQ podcast

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Contributor(s): Professor Christopher Coker, Dr Debin Ma, Dr Yu Jie | Welcome to LSE IQ, the award-winning podcast where we ask social scientists and other experts to answer one intelligent question. In this episode Sue Windebank asks, “Is the 21st Century the Chinese century?”
This month sees the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. In 1949 the Chinese Communist Party won the Chinese Civil War. Having overthrown the nationalist government of the Republic of China, Mao Zedong declared the People’s Republic on October 1st in Tiananmen Square. The last 70 years have been tumultuous for the People’s Republic of China. Under Mao it experienced economic break down and societal chaos. Famously the Great Leap Forward, a campaign designed to industrialise and modernise the economy, led to the largest famine in history, with millions of people dying of starvation. And yet today, after widespread market-economy reforms started by Deng Xiaoping in the 1970s, China is the second largest economy in the world. This wealth is reflected in the country’s international influence, which is growing through sizeable investments the country is making in large infrastructure projects around the world. And, of course, hundreds of thousands of Chinese students study abroad every year – including at LSE. This episode features: Professor Christopher Coker, LSE Department of International Relations and LSE IDEAS; Dr Debin Ma, LSE Department of Economic History; and Dr Yu Jie, Chatham House. For further information about the podcast and all the related links visit and please tell us what you think using the hashtag #LSE.

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