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Redefining and regulating public contracting in China : comparative and international perspectives Wang, Chao


Government plays a central and critical role in a country’s social and economic development and in the management of that nation’s affairs. Government procurement laws regulate behaviors of government officials in their business activities. The major research question of this thesis is to explore, in an authoritarian state like China, whether the country’s public contracting law and its implementation can be improved to a high level of transparency which in turn achieves the goal of good governance of the government without fundamental changes to the country’s political and judicial system. Or, in other words, the Western tradition of transparency and rule of law, which was rooted in the value of liberal democracy, can be adapted to local norms of governance in China. Moreover, since the nature of both buying and selling by the government and SOEs are contracts between publicly funded entities and private sectors, by considering all of the commonalities between Public Procurement and Privatization Policy, the author redefines the “Public Contracting”, as a combination of Public Procurement and Privatization Policy (Government Selling), which includes all the business activities of the Government and SOEs, such as buying, selling, and leasing from or to the private sector. By comparing to procurement rules and practices mainly in Japan, but also in Hong Kong, it shows in this thesis the extent to which international procurement rules of transparency and rule of law are mediated in local context. The author concludes that the public contracting system in China might be partially improved to a higher level of transparency and rule of law without a fundamental change to the country’s political and judicial system by solutions such as instituting a unified review body to check, balance, review, and correct decisions and conducts of government officials in government purchasing and selling. However, without a fundamental political reform, some issues in government procurement, such as transparency and justification of planned expenses at the budgeting stage, cannot be addressed.

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