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Throughout the 1980s, there was an international competition between the free market economies of the western world and the command economies of the east. Authoritarian political systems like those in the Soviet Union were synonymous with government controlled economies. China was seen a country that followed this same model. But now that China has attracted large amounts of private capital and continues to experience double-digit economic growth, the assumption that countries with centralized political governments must also have centralized economies has been put into question.
The two main economic systems are command economies and free market economies. The differences between the two economies in the purest forms are quite large. Yet, the pure forms of either of these economies do not exist in the real world. All national economies are mixture. Independent choice and enterprise exists in command economies and there is government regulation and involvement in free market economies.