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There and Back Again

Why China is returning to poverty and isolation

How did China grow from an impoverished country to become the second largest economy in the world in just over four decades? And how did this economic miracle come to an end, as seems the case today?

To understand the story of China’s rapid rise and equally rapid fall, author Anne Stevenson-Yang takes us back to the beginning, when Deng Xiaoping took over and opened its moribund economy to Western money and know-how. Stevenson-Yang, who lived and worked in China for a quarter of a century, traces each decade of China’s tumultuous development, from the roaring 1980s to today’s malaise.

What happened to the promise of the political change that would come with the opening of the economy? And the institutional reforms of the last four decades?

The author concludes all that change was all an illusion. Communist China, being interested only in survival, played along and the West fell for it. With the rise of Xi Jinping, that capitalist experiment is over and China is returning to the poverty and isolation of the Mao era.

The Lau China Institute are pleased to welcome Anne Stevenson-Yang on Thursday 7 March for a presentation of her new book 'Wild Ride' followed by discussion with Professor Kerry Brown, Director, Lau China Institute.

About the speaker

Anne Stevenson-Yang first moved to Beijing in 1985. In more than 25 years of living and working in China, she founded companies in publishing, software and online media. Today, she runs J Capital Research USA and is the author of China Alone: China’s Emergence and Potential Return to Isolation.

Registration is required for all external attendees. Copies of the book will be available for purchase on the day. 

At this event

Kerry  Brown

Director, Lau China Institute

Event details

King's Building
Strand Campus, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS