China’s Changing of the Guard: State Capacity on the Rebound

Issue Date January 2003
Volume 14
Issue 1
Page Numbers 43-50
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China’s leaders have worked furiously to remake the institutions of governance. The fiscal and tax systems have been revamped to strengthen the central state’s long-term revenue base and gain leverage over local interests. The administrative state has been streamlined, downsized, and reconfigured to improve efficiency, curb wayward bureaucratic power, and provide more effective regulation. Signs of improvement have begun to appear in the banking sector by 2001-2002. Interestingly a variety of institutions for horizontal accountability have sprung up and gained clout and the doctrine of “limited state” has gained some currency in practice.