International Context and China’s Business–Government Relations

  • Tianbiao Zhu
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


The chapter investigates China’s government–business relations in an international context. In general, it argues that since China was incorporated into the European international system in the mid-nineteenth century, the motive of survival and competition has gradually come to dominate the political practices of the Chinese elites, and this is especially the case after 1949 when an autonomous state was finally created. Furthermore, a particular international context often induces a corresponding state reaction. The Cold War structure and conditions of late development pressed the Chinese state to centralize its power and engage in forceful industrialization through a central planning system. This then created an extreme form of government–business relations, with overwhelming power residing with the former. Later on, after China moved closer to the United States in terms of world politics, and when the Cold War structure was replaced by a multi-polar structure characterized by American hegemony, coinciding with rapid expansion of the world market, the Chinese state engaged in economic liberalization and decentralization. This resulted in a substantial modification of the power balance between the state and business and gave rise to various forms of government–business relations.


China State Late development Government–business relations Central–local relations 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Tianbiao Zhu
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Advanced Study in Humanities and Social SciencesZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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