Professor LI Feiyue introduced literature on the relation between state power and economic development. State power refers to the capacity of the government to extract resources and provide public services. However, economic development is, to a large extent, determined by the government’s capacity to undertake effective governance. If the government capacity to extract resources and to undertake effective governance are combined organically, economic development can be expected. He thought wars are an major source of state power, and judging from the Communist Party of China’s history, the War of resistance against Japan played an important role in nurturing local level organisations and cultivating government officials. This practice has a huge influence on China’s state governance system that is based on local government capacity and autonomy. He also analysed how the activeness of local governments and their interaction with the central government constituted a competitive relationship that supersedes the delegated powers.
Dr. XU Jianming said that we should remain cautious towards statement such as wars as sources of state power. He also criticised the presentation’s conclusion concerning governments’ role in providing public goods.
Professor ZHAO Wenzhe thought that better governance entails high expenditure in science, education, culture, and healthcare while economic expenditures decrease, which drove up economic development. However, this conclusion only applies to the 1990s, or even 2000s.