The Impact of Ideology and Politics upon Modern Economics in China

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-10-30-41

O. Borokh (,
Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (IDV RAN), 32, Nahimovskii Prosp., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article analyzes the influence of the task set by the Chinese leadership to create “social sciences with Chinese characteristics” based on Marxism, national tradition and Western theories on the advancement of economics in the PRC. China seeks to bring its academic concepts to the outside world to provide foreign experts with tools for the analysis of Chinese development. A special priority is given to the task of constructing political economy of socialism with Chinese characteristics which can give China additional advantages in intellectual rivalry with the West and present a new economic vision to developing countries. The arguments that due to the growth of the country’s global influence and the inability of existing theories to explain Chinese practice, new economic theories will certainly emerge in the country, are less and less satisfying to the Chinese academic community. However, the scholars admit that China’s superiority in the development of economic theories is in its ability to rely on the rich cultural tradition. The struggle of Chinese researchers for the “right of voice” in economics is aimed at reducing the influence of liberal interpretations of reforms in the country. Problems in the development of political economy in China are attributed not only to Western, but also to Soviet influence. The absence of generally recognized political economy of socialism with Chinese characteristics is explained by insufficient development of productive forces and immaturity of China’s economic system. The researchers claim that the generalization of successful experience of economic transformation will be possible only when the country completes the transition to the socialist market economy. The exploration in “political economy of socialism with Chinese characteristics” got intertwined with commenting on “Xi Jinping’s economic ideas”. Upon the example of the discussion about the relation between supply-side structural reform and Western economic doctrines it was concluded that the emphasis on the involvement with modern economics generates arguments about the lack of independence of Chinese concepts, while emphasis on the uniqueness of Chinese experience calls into question the prospects of creating in China an economic theory with universal significance. In the history of economics there is no precedent of emergence of an outstanding theory based on the “top-down” decision of the national leadership. At the same time, the framework of “philosophy and social sciences with Chinese characteristics” encourages academics to look for a way to combine foreign concepts with Chinese tradition and economic practice of present-day China. 

Keywords: Xi Jinping, social sciences, economic reforms, political economy, supply-side structural reform 


1. Xi Jinping’s Speech at the Symposium on the Work in Philosophy and Social Sciences (17 May 2016). People’s Daily, 19.05.2016 (In Chin.)

2. Froissart Ch. Editorial. Savoir et pouvoir dans la Chine du 21e siecle: la production des sciences sociales. Enjeux du debat sur les sciences sociales dans la Chine de Xi Jinping. Perspectives chinoises, 2018, no. 4, pp. 3-9. Available at: (accessed 16.05.2019).

3. CCP Central Committee Issued the “Opinions on Accelerating the Construction of Philosophy and Social Sciences with Chinese Characteristics” (In Chin.) Available at: (accessed 05.05.2019).

4. Zhang Zhuoyuan et al. 40 Years of Chinese Economics: 1978–2018. Beijing, China Social Sciences Press, 2018. 618 p. (In Chin.)

5. Xie Fuzhan. Take on the Lofty Mission of Accelerating the Construction of the “Three Major Systems” of Philosophy and Social Sciences with Chinese Characteristics. Guangming Daily, 19.05.2019 (In Chin.)

6. Gao Peiyong. Institute of Economics, its People and the Construction of Economics with Chinese Characteristics. Economic Research Journal, 2017, no. 5, pp. 4-6 (In Chin.)

7. Lin Justin Yifu. Indigenization, Normalization, and Internationalization: In Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of “Economic Research Journal”. Economic Research Journal, 1995, no. 10, pp. 13-17 (In Chin.)

8. Lin Justin Yifu. Reflections on Development and Innovation of Chinese Economic Theory. Economic Research Journal, 2017, no. 5, pp. 6-11 (In Chin.)

9. Li David Daokui, Li Yusha, Zhang Chi. Will China’s Practice of Economic Reform and Development Generate Significant Contributions to Economics? – A Perspective from Economic History and the History of Economic Thought. China Journal of Economics, March 2018, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 1-16. DOI:10.16513/j.cnki.cje.20180322.001(In Chin.)

10. Cheng Lin, Zhang Shen, Chen Xudong. Choice and Innovation: A Survey of the Sinicization of Western Economic Theories in Modern China. Economic Research Journal, 2018, no. 7, pp. 182-197 (In Chin.)

11. Yu Guangyuan, Dong Fureng, eds. Whither Chinese Economics? Beijing, Economic Science Press, 1997. 539 p. (In Chin.)

12. Tan Min. The Past and Future of Chinese Economics: Thinking from Wang Yanan’s Notion of “Chinese Economics”. Economic Research Journal, 2000, no. 4, pp. 57-65 (In Chin.)

13. Wang Lisheng. The Theoretical Logic of Xi Jinping’s Thinking on Economy. Journal of Beijing Jiaotong University (Social Sciences Edition), April 2017, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 1-11 (In Chin.)

14. Xi Jinping Presided over the Symposium of Experts on Economic Situation and Stressed: Understand Better and Follow the Laws of Economic Development, Promote Sustained Healthy Development of China’s Economy. People’s Daily, 09.07.2014 (In Chin.)

15. At the 28th Collective Study Session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping Stressed: Base Ourselves on China’s National Conditions and China’s Development Practice, Develop Contemporary Chinese Marxist Political Economy. People’s Daily, 25.11.2015 (In Chin.)

16. Xi Jinping Presided over the Symposium of Experts on Economic Situation and Stressed: Strengthen Confidence, Enhance Determination, Unswervingly Promote Supply-side Structural Reform. People’s Daily, 09.07.2016 (In Chin.)

17. Zhou Wen, Ning Dianxia. The Political Economy of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics: Its Origin, Development Opportunity and Construction Path. Economic Research Journal, 2018, no. 12, pp. 20-33 (In Chin.)

18. Zhang Zhuoyuan, Hu Jiayong, Wan Jun. Forty Years of Innovation of China’s Economic Theory. Beijing, Renmin University Press, 2018. 307 p. (In Chin.)

19. Qian Lubo, Zhang Zhanbin. Theoretical Contribution of Xi Jinping’s Economic Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. Comparative Economic & Social Systems, November 2018, no. 6, pp. 1-8 (In Chin.)

20. Pang Jinju. Three Important Issues in the Construction and Development of the Political Economy of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. Economic Research Journal, 2018, no. 11, pp. 4-16 (In Chin.)

21. Constitution of the Communist Party of China. Beijing, People’s Publishing House, 2017. 62 p. (In Chin.)

22. People’s Daily Commentator: Uphold Xi Jinping Economic Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era – First on Implementing the Spirit of the Central Economic Work Conference. People’s Daily, 22.12.2017 (In Chin.)

23. Liu Wei. The Intrinsic Logic of Xi Jinping’s Economic Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. Economic Research Journal, 2018, no. 5, pp. 4-13 (In Chin.)

24. Gao Peiyong, ed. Chinese Economic Exploration road – Commemorating 40 Years of the Relaunching of the “Economic Research Journal” (2 volumes). Beijing, China Social Sciences Press, 2018. 795 p. (In Chin.)

25. Pei Changhong, Liu Hongkui. Study and Research of Xi Jinping’s Scientific Discourse on Economic Globalization. Economic Perspectives, 2018, no. 4, pp. 4-18 (In Chin.)

26. Wu Jinglian, Li Yining, Zheng Yongnian et al. To Read and Understand Supply-side Reform. Beijing, CITIC Press, 2016. 264 p. (In Chin.)

27. Zheng Yongnian. What Problems Should Be Solved by Supply-side Reform? Wu Jinglian, Li Yining, Zheng Yongnian et al. To Read and Understand Supply-side Reform. Beijing, CITIC Press, 2016, pp. 3-9 (In Chin.)

28. Fang Fuqian. Seeking the Theoretical Origins of Supply-side Structural Reform. Social Sciences in China, 2018, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 37-52. DOI:10.1080/02529203.2018.1519211

29. Deng Xinhua. This Vulgar Economist Was the Originator of Supply-side Reform. 02 December 2015 (In Chin.) Available at: (accessed 09.05.2019)

30. Xu Xiaonian. The Origin of Supply-side Structural Reform – Say’s Law. 11 December 2015 (In Chin.) Available at: (accessed 09.05.2019).

31. To Build a Modernized Economic System (China’s Cadre Education and Training Materials). Beijing, People’s Publishing House, Party Building Books Publishing House, 2019. 209 p. (In Chin.)

32. Xi Jinping. On Several Issues in Upholding and Developing Socialism with Chinese Characteristics (In Chin.) Available at: (accessed 01.04.2019).

Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Borokh O. The Impact of Ideology and Politics upon Modern Economics in China. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2019, vol. 63, no. 10, pp. 30-41.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies


Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 6
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • The “Pivot to Asia”: AUKUS in the Perception of American Politicum
  • The Collapse of the European Collective Security System
  • Public Investment and Sustainability of World Economy
  • Sub-Saharan Africa: Trends, Proportions and Factors of Development
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.