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Zhang, Xinwen (2023) 'Is China Socialist? Theorising the Political Economy of China.' Journal of Contemporary Asia, 53 (5). pp. 810-827.

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This article investigates important and interrelated issues regarding China. It seeks to understand China’s current social formation, setting out the relationship between China and socialism. To examine whether China is socialist, this article examines key principles of socialism drawn from Marx including: individuals’ possession of the means of subsistence; the entitlement to a share of the means of production that are held in common; equality; and the degree to which the state is withering. Through an examination of China’s social welfare regime, the rural land ownership regime, and state-owned enterprise profit sharing with citizens, the article finds that China does not meet the criteria for socialism. In this context, the article continues to evaluate – based on an examination of the ruling party’s motivations and the power dynamics of several social forces – the possibility that China could return to socialism once it builds a sustaining productive dynamic. Also investigated is the role of the state, analysing state-controlled economic resources including natural objects and state-owned enterprise and their impacts on society and the economy.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: capitalism; Chinese political economy; Marx; socialism; state
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Economics
ISSN: 00472336
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2023 08:20

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