Resistance, Revision and Retrenchment in the Transition to a Competitive Market Economy in China

25 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2008

See all articles by Randall Peerenboom

Randall Peerenboom

La Trobe University - Faculty of Law and Management; Oxford University - Centre for Socio-Legal Studies

Date Written: September 8, 2008


China has generally benefited from globalization, particularly in the economic area, and Chinese citizens know it. China, for its part, has been one of the most open developing countries. The general trend since economic reforms began in 1978 has been toward greater openness, and a more competitive market economy. However, China never followed the Washington Consensus, particularly with respect to relationship between domestic economy and international economy. Moreover, Chinese government officials and citizens are now much more acutely aware of the many practices adopted by rich countries to pursue their own national economic interests and to protect their own domestic companies. As result, there are now signs of a retrenchment in China and a growing protectionism.

Part I provides an overview of China's economic policies and development strategies, highlighting the differences between Beijing's development strategy and the Washington Consensus; the recent policy shift away from the focus on aggregate growth to a greater concern with sustainable development, social justice and the creation of a harmonious society; and the rise of nationalism and the increase in protectionist sentiments.

Part II takes a closer look at various areas where there has been resistance to economic globalization, or signs of retrenchment, including WTO compliance, enforcement of IP rights, M&A regulations, anti-monopoly law, securities litigation, anti-dumping cases, property law, bankruptcy, labor law and the legal profession.

Part III explains the recent push back on economic globalization, and why nevertheless the general trend is still toward greater openness and a more competitive economy.

Suggested Citation

Peerenboom, Randall, Resistance, Revision and Retrenchment in the Transition to a Competitive Market Economy in China (September 8, 2008). La Trobe Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008/8. Available at SSRN: or

Randall Peerenboom (Contact Author)

La Trobe University - Faculty of Law and Management ( email )

Department of Economics and Finance
Victoria 3552, 3086

Oxford University - Centre for Socio-Legal Studies

St. Cross Building
St. Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom

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