By Invitation

The remaking of China's state-owned enterprises

While not the fangs and claws of the Chinese leviathan in the Western imagination, they need to be revamped for a rebalancing of China's economy

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"Structural reforms" has become a buzzword in recent decades, usually at a time of crisis. Amid the Sino-United States trade war, this broad term has resurfaced and is frequently mentioned as one of America's key demands in its negotiations with China.

While we need to wait until a new trade agreement is unveiled for a precise definition of this vague term, the Trump administration will almost certainly include market-oriented reform of China's state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in its wish list.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2019, with the headline The remaking of China's state-owned enterprises. Subscribe