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What do say is China now? (eg. capitalist, communist etc.) I mean, China is clearly not...

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jacketmango | eNoter

Posted June 5, 2013 at 9:38 AM via web

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What do say is China now? (eg. capitalist, communist etc.) I mean, China is clearly not a full communist country, since lots of people are rich while some people are dirt poor, but people still call China a communist country. I know there's no real answer, but just your opinion.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 5, 2013 at 1:27 PM (Answer #1)

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It is, as you say, hard to know what to call China.  They still call themselves communist, but they clearly no longer fit that ideology.  I would say that you should call their economic system “state capitalism” and that you should call their political system “authoritarian.”

State capitalism is a term that has been used a lot since the economic crisis in the US and in Western Europe.  There are people who think that China’s way is better.  In China’s system, the government owns most of the large companies and has a big influence in the economy.  That is where the “state” part of “state capitalism” comes from.  But the companies are trying to make a profit and they using supply and demand to a large degree to determine things like wages.

“Authoritarianism” has no exact definition, but the basic idea is that the government is pretty repressive and does not give people a lot of freedom.  There is little or no real democracy.  China seems to fit this bill very well.

So, what I would say is that China has an authoritarian government and state capitalism for an economic system.

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