China’s Assertive Foreign Policy Strategy. Insights from the 19th Party Congress Alejandra Peña

In Estudios, Política exterior by Xulio Ríos

During the last three decades of the twentieth century, the world has witnessed the rise of China in the global economy. The “reform and opening – up” policy (Gaige kaifang 改革开放) introduced in the late 1970s by Deng Xiaoping, drove the country to three decades of double-digit economic growth and the transition of a rural and isolated China into a $11 trillion economy. A deep restructuration of the political order after Mao Zedong’s death and the implementation of unprecedented economic policies laid the foundations that would turn China into the world’s second-largest economy. China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 was the catalyst for its conclusive opening to the free market and its positioning as a significant actor in the global economy. Rising from the sixth position in the 2001 global ranking to the third in 2007, and the second in 2010, China shifted from a regional economy to a global one after its WTO’s accession. In light of this, China’s economic growth has been cataloged by the World Bank as the “fastest sustained expansion by a major economy in history”[1].

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