By adopting a wide-ranging perspective, this book addresses the key issues relevant to contemporary China, providing a valuable tool with which to understand the challenges and opportunities facing political and economic actors, both domestic and foreign, over the next decades. The book addresses key issues now subject to considerable debate, such as sustainable growth, the imbalances in society deriving from growing inequalities and environmental threats. Concluding this section is an overview of how Chinese - US relations, and China's geo-political role at the international level, have evolved at the turn of the 21st century. The book then goes on to analyse those issues linked to the impacts of recent welfare system reforms. In particular, those impacts on the health care and pension systems, growing unemployment deriving from reform of state-owned enterprises and the related phasing out of the 'cradle-to-grave' welfare system. The closing chapter looks at the potential provided by a fast-growing insurance market in conjunction with WTO opening measures, to assess whether increased opportunities are likely to arise for foreign insurance suppliers.
Scholars of political economy and international economics as well as academics and researchers of Asian - particularly Chinese- studies, will find this book of great value.