Questioning the Beijing Consensus

Two good op-eds take a critical look at the so-called Beijing Consensus that purports to be an alternative to liberalism because of China’s economic success under authoritarian rule with its mix of interventionist and market-oriented policies. The key to China’s impressive progress in the past few decades has of course been its move from extreme poverty and a highly repressed economy toward economic freedom. In today’s Wall Street Journal, Liu Junning, a champion of liberal democracy in China, reminds readers of that fact and of “The Ancient Roots of Chinese Liberalism” (as noted in an earlier post by David Boaz). Writing in an Indian daily, Cato senior fellow Deepak Lal explains that state capitalism has not been the source of Chinese growth and warns against “China’s Hubris,” which is leading to a more assertive state and a decrease in personal liberty.