For, by, and from the Party: Defining the parameters of Dual Circulation

September 14, 2021

When the phrase “Dual Circulation Strategy” (DCS) entered the lexicon of China’s economic policy in May 2020 following the meeting of the Politburo standing committee, it was not clear what the strategy might entail. Consequently, substantive commentary about the potential impact of DCS on China’s growth or engagement with the outside world has been scarce.

A plethora of more recent policy announcements provide the world a better idea of what the DCS might mean, putting forward some fundamental questions: What is Dual Circulation Strategy? What are its objectives? What are the ramifications of its implementation for China and the rest of the world?

This paper by Hinrich Foundation Research Fellow Stewart Paterson attempts to answer these questions by placing the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) economic planning and policymaking process in the context of the country’s overall political and economic structure. The analysis briefly looked at China's previous policy drives and slogans, and their impact on the direction of development. Finally, it examines the different directions DCS could take, as well as its likely impact on the country's growth and its economic and political system.