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Whither China?Restarting the Reform Agenda$
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Wu Jinglian and Ma Guochuan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190223151

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190223151.001.0001

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Redefining Property Rights

Redefining Property Rights

(p.150) Dialogue 11 Redefining Property Rights
Whither China?

Wu Jinglian

Ma Guochuan

Xiaofeng Hua

Nancy Hearst

Oxford University Press

An important task in the transition to a market economy is to transform the ownership structure. In 1993, a document of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party declared that management of small state-owned enterprises could be contracted out, leased, shifted to partnerships, or sold to collectives or individuals. But these initiatives were met with criticism from so-called leftists in the form of several Ten-Thousand-Chinese-Word Manifestos. The manifestos criticized the government for letting the nonstate sector grow faster than the state sector. But officials and scholars in favor of the market-oriented reforms fought back, arguing that the state-owned enterprises should retreat from the competitive sectors. This debate came to an end when the 1997 Fifteenth Communist Party Congress called for a readjustment of the ownership structure, even though public ownership in various forms remained dominant in China’s economic system.

Keywords:   Chapter market economy, contracting of small state-owned enterprises, Ten-Thousand-Chinese-Word Manifestos, public ownership, property rights, state ownership, socialism

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