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Editor's Introduction


  • Joseph Fewsmith


This issue of >i>The Chinese Economy>/i> translates three articles that reflect on the relationship between economic and political reform from different perspectives. Hu Angang, a well-known and prolific writer on economic and political matters at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has long worried about the relationship of economic development and political stability. In the first article presented here, Hu argues that China's political system has changed more than generally acknowledged, though it has not taken the form of democratization. Indeed, Hu argues that reforms can be of two types, those that enhance economic development and those that pursue political democratization without regard for the economic consequences. Hu obviously favors the former (in implicit contrast with the reforms pursued in the former Soviet Union), but this does not mean that he is uninterested in political reform. Indeed, Hu is part of a group of what might be called "neostatist" theorists who are working to institutionalize the state. As Hu puts it, the Chinese state must make the transition from a revolutionary state to a ruling state. This task includes stabilizing the leadership, maintaining continuity in public policy, making government institutions more effective, and reducing the arbitrariness of government. This is an important agenda that has been taken up in some quarters, but Hu shies away from the specifics of how such reforms can be accomplished.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph Fewsmith, 1999. "Editor's Introduction," Chinese Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(5), pages 3-4, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:chinec:v:32:y:1999:i:5:p:3-4

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