China's reform of state-owned firms won't come easy

The trade war that the United States has unleashed on China goes beyond the objective of closing the yawning trade gap between the world's two largest economies.

Another of Washington's objectives is to force China to implement structural reforms to level the playing field that favours state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which have long enjoyed special treatment including subsidies, over the non-state sector, including foreign firms.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2019, with the headline 'China's reform of state-owned firms won't come easy'. Print Edition | Subscribe