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Regulating the Visible Hand?The Institutional Implications of Chinese State Capitalism$
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Benjamin L. Liebman and Curtis J. Milhaupt

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190250256

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190250256.001.0001

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The WTO and China’s Unique Economic Structure

The WTO and China’s Unique Economic Structure

(p.313) 14 The WTO and China’s Unique Economic Structure
Regulating the Visible Hand?

Mark Wu

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the challenges posed by the rise of China’s state capitalism to the multilateral trade regime. At the heart of the challenge is the fact that China’s economic structure is unique and has evolved in a manner largely unforeseen by those negotiating China’s accession to the WTO. This chapter discusses how WTO rules contemplate a variety of alternative economic structures besides market capitalism. It examines why, at the time of China’s WTO accession, these rules were considered sufficient for addressing the Chinese economy. Subsequent developments in China’s economic structure are generating a series of emergent tensions for the interpretation of WTO law as applied to the Chinese context. This chapter explores these tensions as well as a series of broader questions concerning the relationship between Chinese state capitalism and global trade governance. It suggests that China’s rise may well contribute to the growing fragmentation of the trade regime.

Keywords:   Chinese state capitalism, multilateral trade regime, WTO, WTO accession

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