Inner Workings of the Chinese Economy and the U.S.-China Trade War

56 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2016 Last revised: 8 Nov 2019

See all articles by Winston W. Chang

Winston W. Chang

University at Buffalo - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 4, 2019


China has been touted as a unique success story in development economics. The world financial crisis of 2007--2010 impacted China severely. Its GDP growth slowed, corporate debts piled up, equity markets became volatile, the renminbi weakened, and its forex reserves shrank in the face of capital flight. This paper analyzes the policymakers' approaches in coping with the recent external shocks to the economy noted for having rigid economic structures (such as the trilemma problem and privatization issues). It discusses the tough balancing act facing the policymakers and the various reform options, including capital flow liberalization and structural reform. Finally, the paper discusses the U.S.-China trade war.

Keywords: China's economy; yuan devaluation; capital flight; forex reserves; impossible trinity; SOEs; US.-China trade war

JEL Classification: E50, E61, F32, F34, O53

Suggested Citation

Chang, Winston W., Inner Workings of the Chinese Economy and the U.S.-China Trade War (November 4, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Winston W. Chang (Contact Author)

University at Buffalo - Department of Economics ( email )

453 Fronczak Hall
Department of Economics, SUNY at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States
716-645-8671 (Phone)
716-645-2127 (Fax)


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