China’s policy-making process has undergone tremendous transformation since the reform and opening-up policy was implemented under Deng Xiaoping’s leadership at the end of the 1970s. A general pluralization characterized this transformation, specifically professionalization, decentralization and formalization of procedures. A similar transition has subsequently occurred in the process of decision making in the areas of economic policy and foreign policy. The economic policy-making process demonstrates these new trends in China’s increasingly pluralized political economy. With China’s economy beginning to integrate into the global market since the reform and opening-up policy was initiated, a new dimension of globalization had been added

Achieving economic reform and growth will define President Xi’s legacy. The new model for the process of economic decision making with a focus on the supply-side structural reform and top-level design, which President Xi and his senior economic aides will push through the reform process, is a critical element in China’s economic reform and growth.

This paper reviews the literature on China’s economic policy-making process and discusses the theoretical frameworks and methodologies that will be used in subsequent forthcoming papers that will analyze China’s policy-making process. 

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CIGI Papers present in-depth analysis and discussion on governance-related subjects. They include policy papers that present CIGI experts' positions or contributions to policy debates, and background papers that contain research findings, insights and data that contribute to the development of policy positions.
  • Xingqiang (Alex) He is a CIGI research fellow. Alex is an expert on China and global economic governance, the Group of Twenty, domestic politics in China and their role in China’s foreign economic policy making, and Canada-China economic relations.