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Economic Dualism: The Case Of China 1840–1937

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Chapter Summary

It is maintained that the handicrafts, small mines, native banks, junks, and coolie carriers were all helplessly depressed because of competition from their counterparts in the modern sector of the economy, which was an outgrowth of external trade and foreign investment in China. The physical quantity of China's commodity exports increased at a rate of 2.4 per cent a year from 1867 to 1932. To conclude, there is little factual support for the common belief that the traditional sector of the Chinese economy suffered a general decline because of the development of the modern sector. Economic dualism may not really be undesirable. Technological progress should include creative adaptation of the traditional methods rather than concentrate entirely on purely modern technology, especially in a country where traditional technology has been developed for a long time and seems able to take care of much of the demand of the masses.

Keywords: China; commodity exports; economic dualism; foreign investment; technological progress

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