What has India Learned from China’s Labour Reforms?

Written by Pravakar Sahoo. China’s relatively flexible and business-friendly labour laws have ensured continued investment in the manufacturing sector. By contrast, investors find labour laws in India restrictive. India, a democracy, has also found it harder than China to undertake labour and wage reforms. Rapid globalization challenged China’s leaders to design market-friendly labour laws and …

The three ‘P’s’ of the fourth plenum

Written by Kerry Brown. There are three ‘P’s’ that the Fourth Plenum outcome on law make clear about the Xi style of leadership. The first is that it is populist. The second is that it is driven by increasingly programmatic politics. Finally, it is driven increasingly by the personality of its central leader as a …

Rule of law with Chinese characteristics

Written by Jackie Sheehan. The decisions emanating from CCP plenums seldom contain surprises – the official communiqué will have been drafted before the session opens. The 4th Plenum of the 18th CCP Central Committee completed on October 23rd was no exception. The plenum’s conclusions on “comprehensively advancing the rule of law” were always likely to go …

Zero tolerance of corruption, but who’s first for investigation?

Written by Jackie Sheehan. Premier Li Keqiang stressed in his speech at the just-closed National People’s Congress that corruption under the Xi-Li leadership will have “nowhere to hide” in China, and that seniority will be no protection: “No matter who or how senior an official is, if they violate Party discipline and the law, they …

Hong Kong political discourse and its metaphors

Written by Jennifer Eagleton. 2014 sees the 30th anniversary of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the document that sealed the end of British rule in Hong Kong. The city was decolonized, but without independence, becoming a Special Administrative Region of China on 1 July 1997, but with a constitution, the Basic Law, that promised universal suffrage …

English learning and reform of the Gaokao

Written by Shuai Zhao. It is possible that 2013 will be remembered as the beginning of a fundamental shift in the way China views the English language. The decision, publicized in October, by Beijing’s education authorities to reduce the weighting of English in the annual college admissions test, the gaokao, provoked a predictably fierce debate over …

Pursuing mutually incompatible goals: Resilient SOEs, Leading Small Group, and the Market

Written by Yukyung Yeo. The long-anticipated third plenum of the 18th Central Committee closed with two ambitious goals to achieve. According to the plenum communiqué, Chinese leaders once again desire to deepen reforms toward market-oriented economy, yet under the predominant status of SOEs in the market. A “Leading Small Group for Deepening Reform” (shenhua gaige lingdao xiaozu) …

Getting more local is fundamental to a good intergovernmental system

Written by Alfred M. Wu. The Third Plenum of the 18th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee has stirred a heated debate about the forthcoming reforms and the country’s future direction. Some argue that the plenum, parallel to that in 1978 is the beginning of the “2.0 version” of “reform and opening up”. Others are …

Exploring the space for local governance innovation

Written by Oscar Almén. Many local government leaders around China have closely followed the third plenum looking for signs of what reforms the central leaders are likely to support. That the statements from the Central Party meetings are typically vague and packed with repetitive propaganda is not only related to CCP reluctance to offer transparency of …

China Continues Its Grand Experiment

Written by Zhengxu Wang. The Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee closed its Third Plenum on Tuesday, an event eagerly anticipated by the public and press. Right before it convened, the party’s propaganda outlets had played up the expectation that major policy breakthroughs would come from the gathering. Even Xi Jinping, the party’s general secretary and …