Traditional Chinese culture retains a powerful hold on China today. Confucian emphasis on the duty of the state to provide for a harmonious and orderly society, on the interests of the collective over the individual, and on “rule of men” over “rule of law” imbue the values and structures of Chinese political economic institutions, including banks. This cultural context in which Chinese banks are embedded contrasts sharply with the American cultural context in which American market capitalist banks are embedded. China’s search for the right combination of modern methods and traditional cultural essence to return “wealth and power” to the country has influenced the development of China’s banking system to become what it is today.
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