A decade ago, the Chinese economy was said to be an unstoppable juggernaut. Today, it is more often said to be “stagnating” or, in some accounts, on the verge of falling off a cliff. But whichever narrative one prefers, the undeniable reality is this: China’s economy has arrived.
The country now has the world’s second-largest economy, is its largest trader, its biggest manufacturer, its largest oil importer, its leading carbon emitter, and sits on trillions of dollars of foreign exchange reserves that it is increasingly investing beyond its borders. If the Chinese economy sneezes, at least some part of the global economy is sure to catch a cold.
Meanwhile, China also confronts strong headwinds, even as its leaders attempt to pull off a fundamental economic restructuring. And ultimately, whether their attempt to reform succeeds will be as much a function of politics and social dynamics as of macroeconomic policies and intentions. Few events will be as defining—or disruptive—as how the Chinese economy performs and evolves over the next decade.
Grappling with the complexity of China’s evolution is important for anyone with a stake in where the global economy is headed. Yet elucidating a nuanced and balanced portrait of China’s economy, not platitudes or punditry, is becoming much more difficult.
That is why we have created MacroPolo. The animating idea behind our new digital platform is to create a hub for incisive, relevant, and accessible content and differentiated research and products on China’s political economy. We also examine the multifaceted economic linkages between the United States and China, with a particular emphasis on cross-border investment. We have a broad interest in China’s political economy but have deliberately narrowed the scope of this platform to focus on areas that are not systematically covered elsewhere and, in our view, merit greater prominence and deeper analysis.
The platform includes, among its many features, macroeconomic analysis and detailed assessments of China’s economic reform agenda. As with all products of the think tank, we aim to deliver insight and ideas that can influence audiences as diverse as economic policymakers, businesses, market participants, and both generalists and specialists. The venture is a nonprofit, but our in-house experts are also available to provide advisory services in some areas.
Take a quick tour around MacroPolo and you’ll discover not just our unique suite of existing think tank products, such as the well-known Paulson Policy Memoranda and Investment Case Studies, but also new bespoke products that we believe are both useful and user friendly. These include our ReformPedia and FDI Gateway.
Another good place to start is with our blog, Two Fen (“two cents” in Chinese): it features insightful commentary and timely writing from our in-house experts. With Two Fen, we aim to parse signal from noise in debates about China’s political economy.
MacroPolo is sure to evolve over time. But this platform’s core purpose will always be firmly fixed on fostering a deeper understanding of China, just as the world grapples with this economic colossus’ impact and the many ways China’s evolution is already shaping our young century.