Professor of Economics and founding Director of the Center for Contemporary Chinese Studies, University of Melbourne
Moderated by Carl Riskin
Senior Research Scholar, Weatherhead East Asian Institute; Distinguished Professor of Economics, Queens College, The City University of New York
About the Lecture
In the lead up to the 19th Party Congress in October 2017, the dominant narrative on Xi Jinping’s first term is that his ambitious reform program has stalled and that the anti-corruption campaign is just a ruse for power-grab and repression. This lecture argues that behind the headlines, significant progress has been made towards building the foundations for a rule-based system of governance.
The analysis starts from reviewing the progress in fiscal reform, a sector seen as the linchpin of the ambitious, comprehensive program announced at the Third Plenum of the Chinese Communist Party’s 18th Party Congress in November 2013. From the outside, it looks like the early passage of the Budget Law and other legislative changes have brought few concrete results, and progress in far behind schedule. In fact, the Budget Law and associated documents have set in motion some fundamental changes that will redraw the boundary between the state and market, as well as the state and society. These changes are just starting to be implemented, though, and progress will unlikely be linear.
Weatherhead East Asian Institute & China Center for Social Policy