Competition policy and state-owned enterprises in contemporary China
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This thesis explores, first, the evolvement and implementation of competition policy in China, where a competition culture was largely missing for decades; and second, the extent to which the government has resolved the inherent contradiction between preserving state control and promoting competition. The main aim is to evaluate how a competition law, which is essentially a product of capitalist free market economy, is being applied in China, a socialist country where predominant state-owned enterprises (SOEs) together with their owner – the Chinese government – generate the most distortions to market competition. To achieve this aim, the thesis studies, first, the ongoing economic transition and the historical development of Chinese competition policy; second, the prolonged drafting process of the Anti- Monopoly Law (AML); third, the substantive and institutional aspects of the enforcement of the AML, and the outstanding problems of the current competition system; and fourth, the role of the government in the interplay between competition policy and SOEs. The thesis also studies the European Union (EU) competition regime, which had substantial influence on the adoption of the AML and the design of China’s competition system. This discussion intends to use the experiences of the EU in modernising its competition system and in handling competition-related issues involving public enterprises to provide some meaningful answers to certain problems concerning the application of the AML and to possible reform of competition system in China.