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Frontiers of Economics in China

Front. Econ. China    2017, Vol. 12 Issue (2) : 193-227     DOI: 10.3868/s060-006-017-0010-9
Orginal Article |
The Spread of Western Economics in China: Features and Influence (1840–1949)
Lin Cheng1, Shen Zhang2()
1. School of Economics, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai 200433, China
2. Institute of Economics, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Shanghai 200020, China
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The spread of Western economics in modern China is a content-rich historical event which has taken more than a century. A complete understanding of this event depends on the analysis and summary of its features. This paper suggests that the spread of Western economics in modern China exhibits five main features: openness, periodicity, applicability, localization and limitation. Openness reflects the active attitude of Chinese scholars to learning and propagating Western economics. Periodicity reflects the changes in its effectiveness and focus over time. Applicability reflects its goal of promoting the development of Chinese economics and providing policy applications for China’s economic growth. Localization of Western economic theories in China follows the trend of selected introduction and modification according to local situations. And limitation is inevitable because of the many difficulties facing the spread of Western economics during early modern times. Furthermore, this spread has a profound impact on China which is embodied in its features: it promotes the establishment of Chinese modern economics, provides appropriate examples for the modernization and evolution of Chinese society, and promotes transformation of the traditional economic system in China.

Keywords Western economics      spreading features      transformation     
Issue Date: 17 July 2017
 Cite this article:   
Lin Cheng,Shen Zhang. The Spread of Western Economics in China: Features and Influence (1840–1949)[J]. Front. Econ. China, 2017, 12(2): 193-227.
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