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Zou, Longcan (2022) Making Sense of China’s ‘New Normal’ Economy, the Belt and Road Initiative, and the Connections in Between. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Restricted to Repository staff only until 16 April 2025.


A few years ago, two concepts, namely the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the ‘New Normal’ Chinese economy, caught the attention of many economists. They both received an overwhelming amount of attention and are still centres of discussion today, as they arose at about the same time and both concern the Chinese economy. This thesis conjectures a close connection between the two concepts and, therefore, has grouped them together for analysis. The intention of this thesis is to find out 1) the intrinsic reason behind the emergence of China’s ‘New Normal’ economy and what needs to be done in response to the ‘New Normal’; 2) the dynamics behind the promotion of the BRI (or alternatively what the BRI can actually bring to the countries involved); and 3) what the BRI has to do with China’s ‘New Normal’. Building on a systematic conceptual interpretation and descriptive statistics exploration, this thesis derives some implications: 1) China’s ‘New Normal’ economy arises from its unique path of market reform and development, which leads to imbalances in several areas, and that China’s integration into neoliberal globalisation has exacerbated such imbalances. 2) Instead of harming the economies and hampering the development of other countries involved in the BRI (or developing countries in general), the initiative facilitates an alternative model of globalisation which is production-oriented and developmental for every participant.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Dic Lo
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2022 09:10

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