Abstract

Does state capacity influence economic performance in China? In this research exercise, I will attempt a casual examination of the role of state capacity in China’s miraculous economic performance. I will specifically examine the Chinese state’s ability to collect taxes. I argue that the Chinese state’s capacity to collect taxes efficiently is a miracle of modern statecraft. It illustrates to us that a strong state capacity in China bequeaths modern economic miracles. Improvements in tax capacity in China have been a part of a deeper process of state capacity building.1 Building tax capacity is linked to the process of economic development and growth in China. This research exercise explores the political conditions that have supported broader changes in state and tax capacity — and how these changes yield a culture of economic growth.

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Abstract

Why doesn’t liberal democracy flourish in China? Throughout its history, policy makers and intellectuals in China turned to authoritarian politics to address urgent matters. Authoritarian politics lingers on in the country to this day. In this reading summary/critique, I would like to explore why liberal democracy does not flourish in modern China like it has in Japan and South Korea. I will also explore if it is possible for China to become a vibrant liberal democracy in the future. I will argue that as China becomes more educated, developed, and prosperous, it will slowly turn into a vibrant liberal democracy like its East Asian counterparts: Japan and South Korea.

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