A prominent scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences argues that addressing barriers to social mobility is key to curbing rising income inequality in China and avoiding the middle income trap. He promotes hukou reform as a potential remedy, advocating for a change in “the method where the supply of public goods treat[s] people differently based on household registration status.”
This 2019 analysis by Zheng Yongnian, a highly influential political scientist, argues that China is at risk of falling into a “middle-income trap” domestically and a “Thucydides trap” in its relations with the United States. He maintains that, “once a cold war begins, security considerations will dominate the United States’ relationship with China, and the United States will have to abandon the Chinese market for the sake of security.”
An unnamed researcher at the National Development and Reform Commission’s Academy of Macroeconomic Research lays out six areas where China must find “key breakthroughs” to become a high-income country. In addition to domestic reforms, the author calls for the creation of an international environment “conducive to crossing over the middle-income stage.”
How can China overcome the middle-income trap? In this 2016 speech, Yao Yang, Dean of the National School of Development of Peking University, identifies what he sees as critical ingredients for avoiding this trap, and argues China should understand these as it aims to become a “high-income country by the centennial of the country’s founding.” He also seeks to dispel what he sees as several widely-held misunderstandings about China’s economic growth challenges.