Rethinking China’s Investment Priorities

Over the last two decades, China has experienced tremendous growth, resulting in widespread economic freedom and mobility for its citizens. Author and Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College, Minxin Pei, discusses this critical moment in Chinese history. Pei believes that the current investment in physical infrastructure should be replaced with an economic focus on services for its people. State-run programs such as education, healthcare, and social security are what the Chinese people now want, and Pei maintains the government has a responsibility to deliver on this public good. Ultimately, for decisions that affect China’s nearly 1.4 billion people, Pei would like to see a higher level of public participation in policymaking.

Minxin Pei is a Professor of Government and the Director of the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies at Claremont McKenna College. He specializes in foreign policy with a focus on Chinese politics and East Asian economic and security issues. He is the author of three books, From Reform to Revolution: The demise of Communism in China and the Soviet Union (1994); China’s Trapped Transition: The limits of Developmental Autocracy (2006); and China’s Crony Capitalism: Dynamics of Regime Decay (2016). His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Financial Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times,, and Nikkei Asian Review. Pei received a B.A. in English from the Shanghai International Studies University, an M.F.A. from University of Pittsburgh, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University.