Crossing the Great Wall: Beijing’s Boiling Point

Written by By: Patrick von der Goltz

China has continued to go from strength to strength in the last century. Its economy went from a near-state within the closed world of the Soviet bloc, to a global superpower that now accounts for 17% of the world’s GDP.

However, as China’s growth has taken place, there has been very little attention paid to the domestic or the regional environment. Despite reports from major institutions like the World Bank of the globalisation taking place, the very fact that the State has admitted itself to global markets and markets have taken place has done little to minimise the impact on one of the most restive and slow economic growth in the world.

To do this we’ve had to look at the roots of modern China and its drivers; how economics and power have united and divided it, how China’s system has been able to maintain its grip on an enormous wealth. In addition we’ve had to look at things like the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution and the continued environmental pressures the country faces.

In this series of essays, Patrick von der Goltz, a PhD candidate in history and Asia at Stanford University, delves into the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and what its historical actions do to present day China. The aim is to take the reader through what has gone before in Chinese history and examine how the People’s Republic has pursued its goals over the last two centuries of its history.

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