The principal approaches to financial reform are the market capitalist approach, advocated by the World Bank and economists with free market orientation, and the market socialist approach, espoused by the Chinese government. The approaches diverge over the issue of bank ownership, with the government committing in the reform programs announced in the 3rd Plenum of 2013 to improved efficiency of management and intermediation, but not privatization, while the market capitalist approach feels that continued state ownership of banks will lead to financial crisis. The 3rd Plenum declared that the market will play a “decisive role.” There is, however, misunderstanding among foreigners as to what this means. The 3rd Plenum was explicit—the market will be a mechanism for greater efficiency in a mixed economy including private enterprise, but major core industries will be retained under state control.
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