Don’t blame China’s skewed sex ratio on the one-child policy

A young Chinese boy takes part in a swimming event in Beijing. Conventional wisdom says that China’s skewed sex ratio is due solely to the one-child policy, but the reality is more complex. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Elizabeth J. Remick, Tufts University, and Charis Loh

In the last decade, China’s serious gender imbalance has made headlines: millions of Chinese men are doomed to bachelorhood due to a shortage of women, with awful social consequences. The conventional wisdom is that this skewing — a sex ratio at birth far higher than the natural ratio of 105 males to 100 females — is caused simply and solely by China’s one-child policy. Read more…

China, India and global headwinds

Author: Alok Sheel, Government of Kerala

When the global financial crisis swept across the world in 2008, it was widely hoped that India would not be as badly affected by the external demand shock as China. After all, exports of goods and services accounted for about 40 per cent of Chinese GDP, and domestic consumption for around 50 per cent, while India consumed over two thirds of its GDP and exported only around 20 per cent. As things turned out, while both economies initially had a relatively soft landing, Indian growth has dipped far more sharply than that of China. Why? Read more…

How to normalise Sino–Japanese defence relations

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and China's President Xi Jinping in Beijing in November 2014, at that time the first leaders' meeting in more than two years. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Tomohiko Satake, NIDS

Tensions between Japan and China in recent years have led many to argue that Sino–Japanese relations have entered a period of enduring rivalry, and that a Sino–Japanese military conflict is likely in the near future. But, looking back over post-war history, the current state of relations is rather exceptional. Read more…

Back to the future in managing the Chinese economy?

China's central bank raised the value of the yuan against the US dollar by 0.05 per cent, the national foreign exchange market said, ending three days of falls after a surprise devaluation. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Those in the international policy community whose professional responsibility it is to keep abreast of political developments in China have been in a tizz over the past few weeks about the prospects of a return to the command economy. This might seem strange to the economic observer. The most vibrant part of the second largest market economy in the world, generating around two thirds of its industrial product, is its private sector. Read more…

If Mao still ran China, China would still be poor

Vendors sell posters of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Communist Party founder Mao Zedong on a street of Gujiao in northern China's Shanxi province. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Paul Hubbard, ANU

Reading the latest Chinese growth projections to 2050 brings to mind Karl Marx’s aphorism that history repeats itself first as tragedy, second as farce. One of the co-authors, a Yale economics professor, told the Financial Times the ‘main point of our findings is that, contrary to common misconceptions, productivity growth under Mao, particularly in the non-agricultural sector, was actually pretty good’. Read more…

China sheds its dollar shackles

Yuan banknotes and US dollars are seen on a table in Yichang, central China's Hubei province on August 14, 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sourabh Gupta, Samuels International

The redback’s managers excel in catching the currency markets off-guard. In January 1994, China unified its dual exchange rate system by aligning the official rate to the market rate and pegging the yuan to the dollar tightly thereafter. Since 85 per cent of yuan trades were conducted at market rates at the time, the de facto overall devaluation was a mere 5.25 per cent — not the 35 per cent that is commonly (mis)quoted. Read more…

The problems for Asia’s growth

On 24 March 2015, the Chinese government approved three new free trade zones. Trade liberalisation remains important for escaping the middle income trap. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

There has been a great deal of brouhaha about the risks of a collapse in the Chinese economic growth over the past couple of months because of the dramatic fall in Chinese stock markets. The truth is that movement in the Chinese stock market has never been closely related to China’s economic growth rate performance. Read more…