As its miracle growth continues seemingly unabated into a fourth decade, China's emergence as a global economic and political power is accepted as inevitable. China is changing and the world is changing in response. Yet such radical transformation has also brought challenges that China must face if it is to continue its upward trajectory. Some of problems that are thought to threaten China's reforms are in fact not as serious as many interpreters claim -only growing pains of development. Some have already been solved. Other widely noted problems truly are serious, and still others may loom on the horizon. Growing Pains seeks to present an accurate view -as opposed to an optimistic or pessimistic one -of China's current reforms. Sorting the evidence of the problems' actual severity, the contributors consider hot-button issues -privatization and markets; governance; and questions of health care, environmental degradation, and social inequality -and consider the likelihood of near-term solutions.
Jean C. Oi is a professor of political science and the William Haas Professor in Chinese Politics at Stanford University, USA. She is also a senior fellow at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and directs its newly established Stanford China Program. Scott Rozelle is the Helen F. Farnsworth Senior Fellow at FSI. He codirects the Rural Education Action Program (REAP), which conducts experiment-based research to assist policymakers in developing education policies to aid young rural students in China. Xueguang Zhou is a professor of sociology and a senior fellow at FSI, USA. His current research focuses on institutional changes in contemporary Chinese society, including organizations and management, social inequality, and state-society relationships.