This book is about the political economy of China’s industrial reform and the rise of a group of Chinese big businesses under the Communist Party and the central state’s control. It examines the origins, evolution and institutional configuration of this centralized system in governing the ‘commanding heights’ of the Chinese industrial economy. Shaped by persistent industrial policies to develop China’s ‘national champions’ enterprises, the core parts of China’s central industrial ministries and mono-bank system have been transformed into a ‘national team’ of giant modern business firms in industries such as oil, power generation, telecommunications, aerospace, aviation, nuclear, shipbuilding, mining, construction, automobile and banking. Through an adaptive process of learning, experimentation and restructuring, the bedrock of the authority relations and control mechanisms among the Party, government bureaucracy and firms has been consolidated rather than dismantled in the system’s transformation. This alternative view of China’s industrial reform presents a direct challenge to the neo-liberal transition model of China’s institutional development and the mainstream Western conceptions of Chinese big business.
Table of Contents
1. Transition, Involution or Evolution: Rethinking the Political Economy of China’s Industrial Reform 2. Organized for Catching-up: The Emergence of China’s Centralized Industrial Order 3. The Making of Big Business: From Industrial Ministries to Centrally Controlled ‘National Champions’ 4. Party Leadership Transition and the Bureaucratic Restructuring for Industrial Reform 5. Holding ‘China Inc.’ Together: The Development of Central Nomenklatura and Personnel Management System 6. Holding ‘China Inc.’ Together: The Restructuring of Centrally Controlled Financial System 7. Communist Party Bureaucracy and Capitalist Big Business
Chen Li is Lecturer in Economics at the Centre for China Studies and Faculty of Social Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He previously worked in one of the largest listed corporations based in Hong Kong and was a Research Associate at Fung Global Institute, an independent global think tank. He received his MPhil and PhD in Development Studies from Jesus College, University of Cambridge.