The lives of the parties

THE NOTION that China’s economy, though nominally communist, resembles that of the Soviet Union seems on its face absurd. The fall of the Iron Curtain revealed a rusted shell of a country, incapable of manufacturing goods the West might want. China is the world’s biggest exporter; its cities are jammed with gleaming skyscrapers. Soviet citizens went without consumer luxuries or bought them dearly on the black market. China’s growing middle class can choose from scores of designer brands at the local mall.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, formed five years after the Russian revolution of 1917, came apart at age 69. At 69, the People’s Republic of China seems destined for world domination. Yet the Soviet economy seemed modern and dynamic once. China’s GDPper person, at purchasing-power parity, remains below that in the Soviet Union on the eve of its collapse. And despite its capitalist trappings, the Communist Party is piloting China’s economy in a direction similar to...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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