Chinese President Xi Jinping’s massive anti-corruption campaign has advanced a number of key objectives: It has gone a long way toward restoring confidence in the Communist Party’s commitment to a merit-based system; countered a decades-old pattern of public-sector domination; reduced the power of vested interests to block reform; and bolstered Xi’s popularity among private-sector actors, if far less so with the bureaucracy. In short, Xi’s effort to root out corruption has empowered both the party and the reformers. The question is how far they will take their reform ambitions.
Xi is certainly not finished yet, having outlined a set of legal reforms at last month’s Fourth Plenum of the Communist Party aimed at creating a more level playing field for the public and private sectors. If implemented properly, the reforms will create a more efficient system for the creation and enforcement of contracts, ease the path for market entrants and strengthen the application of China’s competition laws.
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