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.