Why SOE Reform Cannot Be Avoided
A renewed quarrel about the performance and function of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) has erupted in China recently. The debate is unbalanced. The advocates of SOEs have been expressing their arguments through official news organs, while the critics mainly use websites.
Official media are praising SOEs more generously than ever. A story in May on the front page of the People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party, stated that SOEs are the symbols of vitality, efficiency and influence, and form the backbone of the so-called socialist market economy. A handful of orthodox Marxists believe that the country must cultivate strong SOEs, instead of private enterprises, if the government hopes to achieve its goal of common prosperity.
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