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China is the twenty-first century's "Workshop of the world," absorbing natural resources from Africa, Latin America and the rest of Asia and exporting manufactured goods, much as England did during its nineteenth-century heyday. China's extraordinary position in the contemporary global political economy raises the question, "What are the implications of being the twenty-first century 'Workshop of the world' for the future trajectory of wealth and poverty within China? Optimistic answers to this question rely implicitly on Marx's famous dictum that "Backward" countries can envision their future by looking at the trajectories of the more "Advanced."
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