On August 23, 2018, the United Nations and UN Development Programme hosted a public lecture titled, 'The Real China Model: What other developing countries should learn from China'.
Many view the China model as simply top-down governance coupled with massive investments in infrastructure, and worryingly, assume that other developing countries should or will copy these features. Yuen Yuen Ang debunks this common misunderstanding by drawing on her book, How China Escaped the Poverty Trap, which systematically traces the history of China’s economic and institutional changes from 1978 to 2012. The real key to China’s success is not top-down control; instead, it’s “directed improvisation”—the mixture of top-down direction from Beijing and bottom-up improvisation among numerous local governments—that enabled a locally tailored pattern of development.
Disclaimer: This lecture was designed to provide a different perspective for development professionals in Cambodia. This lecture was not meant to be an endorsement of the Author, her book or any specific development strategy, but merely as learning opportunity for the community.