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Title: Legal regulation of foreign direct investment in China's transitional economy.
Author: Xie, Xiaodong.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3573 8089
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 1993
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This thesis attempts a wide-ranging examination of the legal regulation of foreign direct investment in China's transitional economy by means of an exploration of the role of law as an instrument for accommodating foreign investors' business autonomy, while trying to maintain appropriate controls and to balance Chinese and foreign interests in this process. It endeavours to investigate how China translates its foreign investment policy into law. The study further discusses the interactions of underlying economic, political, social and cultural factors in the implementation process and their impact on the effectiveness of law, and reveals the causes hindering the implementation of law. It is noted that while legalization through the deployment of formal laws and regulations is a general feature of China's implementation of its reform and open policies since 1979, the regulation of foreign direct investment receives the closest attention, aiming at defining and protecting the rights and interests of foreign investors and redressing their worries about lawlessness and instability of policy. This study examines issues fundamental to the management and operation of foreign investment enterprises: control structures for management and operation, domestic resource allocation and foreign trade administration, labour and personnel concerns, foreign exchange controls, land use regulation and tax administration. On this basis, it argues that though China has provided numerous legal and technical provisions, they are often not effectively implemented as intended or are readily replaced by other regulatory instruments such as administrative procedures, policy statements and local rules, which do not have formal legal binding force and thus have to be implemented on the basis of "good faith". Destructive factors include legislative deficiencies and the complications and inconsistencies in multi-level implementation, arising from the relations between administrative institutions, their manner of exercising powers, the modes of policy implementation, ignorance of legal revisions, traditional government-enterprise relationships, distorted competition among localities, the rising regionalism under decentralization, the unsettled nature of economic reform, the lack of efficient markets, ineffective functioning of institutional legal structures and certain cultural barriers. This thesis also argues that following its gradual liberalization of policy, from strict control and overcautious regulation to allowing the following of "international practices" and provision of national treatment, China's foreign investment laws have reacted to these changes by moving from being a separate regime towards convergence with that governing domestic enterprises, thus promoting the integration of foreign investment into the Chinese economy. It argues, moreover, that while Western legal values and institutions are having some positive effects in creating formal rules, a full understanding of these concepts and the socioeconomic contexts in which they originate and operate is needed if difficulties in implementation are not to increase further. It is concluded that China's legislation only partially reflects its policy. Moreover, it falls short of the government's expectation of using law as an instrument to overcome the unstable nature of policy and to guarantee business autonomy for foreign investment enterprises. Attempts are further made to outline the efforts necessary for improving the effectiveness of law and to suggest likely legal changes affecting foreign investment enterprises, given the adoption of "socialist market economy" as China's ultimate goal in economic reform.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Law