Yasheng Huang on the Development of the Chinese State | Conversations with Tyler
In this insightful discussion, Yasheng Huang, an expert on China, explores the development of the Chinese state, its economy, and society.
He provides a nuanced understanding of China’s historical trajectory, its current challenges, and its future prospects.
The Paradox of the Chinese State
The Chinese state presents a paradox of being overdeveloped in terms of its dominance over society, yet underdeveloped in its administrative capacity.
This imbalance has led to a lack of professionalization and a history of invasions by northern nomadic tribes.
State Power and Fiscal Capacity
The Chinese state, despite having a relatively small fiscal capacity during the Qing Dynasty, wielded substantial administrative power.
This power stemmed not from taxation but from the state’s dominance over society.
Imbalances in the Chinese Economy
The low consumption to GDP ratio in China is a symptom, not a cause, of the imbalances in the Chinese economy.
The real issue is the low household income share of the GDP, reflecting the power of the government and corporate sector over households.