Can Xi Jinping’s Reforms be Implemented?

wong_cChina Studies Centre, University of Sydney

Christine Wong

12.00pm – 1.30pm, Thursday 10 September
Cullen Room, Level 4, Holme Building, Science Road, University of Sydney

At the Third Plenum of the 18th Party Congress in November 2012, Xi Jinping and the top leadership adopted an ambitious, comprehensive program of reforms aimed at modernizing governance in China. The program calls for the government to retreat from its current role in allocating resources and focus instead on basic functions of macroeconomic management, market regulation, public service delivery, and environmental protection. Measures have already been rolled out that touch upon all economic sectors and institutions: the fiscal system, the financial system, state-owned enterprises and competition policy, trade and investment policies, land policies, labor and welfare policies, and environmental policy, etc.

This presentation will look at the structure and organization of the fiscal system to assess how fiscal reforms will likely evolve, to highlight the systemic constraints to implementing top-down, radical reforms and identify some major gaps in reform design.

Christine Wong is Professor of Chinese Studies and Director of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Melbourne. Prior to joining Melbourne, she was Professor and Director of Chinese Studies at the University of Oxford, where she was a Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall. She has also held the Henry M. Jackson Professorship in International Studies at the University of Washington, and taught economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz; University of California, Berkeley; and Mount Holyoke College.

Christine has also held senior staff positions in the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, and worked extensively with other international agencies including the IMF, OECD, UNDP, UNICEF, and the UK Department for International Development. She is a member of the OECD Advisory Panel on Budgeting and Public Expenditures.

Christine has published widely on China’s public finance, central-local relations and their implications for governance, economic development and welfare. Her recent research is focused on urbanization and government financial management.

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