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The global financial crisis reinvigorated ongoing debates over whether China has its own distinct and separate ‘model’ of political economy and/or development. There is much that connects this Chinese model with previous systems of national political economies; partly in terms of specific policy preferences, but also in terms of shared basic conceptions of the distribution of power in the global order. Like these previous systems, China has come to stand as an example of an alternative to following dominant (neo-)liberal models of development. In this respect, what the China model is not and what China does not stand for might be more important than what it actually is and what it does stand for. However, the idea of a coherent and unique Chinese model has considerable purchase, and is both informed by and also feeds into considerations of China's uniqueness and difference from the norms, ideas and philosophies that dominate the rest of the world.