In the 20 years following the 1997–98 Asian financial crisis (AFC) the development of the ‘miracle’ economies of East and Southeast Asia were dominated by the rise of China. Just as the US was a major driver of economic development through the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and Japan during the 1980s and 1990s, so China was the critical factor in the region’s economic growth after the turn of the century. Even though China’s economy did not surpass that of Japan as the second largest economy in the world until 2010, the rapid growth in the Chinese economy, which averaged well over 10 percent annually from 2002 to 2011, gave neighbouring economies a real boost. However, from 2012 onwards growth in the Chinese economy slowed to under 8 percent annually. This slowdown created problems for those economies of East and Southeast Asia which had become closely linked to the expanding Chinese economy.
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