Disaggregating China, Inc: State Strategies in the Liberal Economic Order

Yeling Tan, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Oregon

12:00pm - 1:15pm | Virtual Talk

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Professor Yeling Tan discusses her forthcoming book, Disaggregating China, Inc: State Strategies in the Liberal Economic Order. China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 represented an historic opportunity to peacefully integrate a rising economic power into the international order based on market-liberal rules. Yet current trade tensions between the US and China indicate that this integration process has run into trouble. To what extent has the liberal internationalist promise of the WTO been fulfilled? To answer this question, this study breaks open the black box of the massive Chinese state and unpacks the economic strategies that central economic agencies as well as subnational authorities adopted in response to WTO rules demanding far-reaching modifications to China’s domestic institutions. The study explains why, rather than imposing constraints, WTO entry provoked divergent policy responses from different actors within the Chinese state, in ways neither expected nor desired by the architects of the WTO.