The Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New South Wales



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For the International Seminar on the Environment of Law Enforcement Supervision

27-29 June 2000

Mianyang City, Sichuan Province

Submitted by:

The Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New South Wales

Written by:

John Zerby, Vice President of the Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New South Wales


John Yuhong Wang, Chief Representative, Beijing, of the Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New South Wales



The Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New South (which is more easily abbreviated as ACCCI, or the “Chamber”) is grateful for the invitation to participate in this international seminar on the environment of law enforcement supervision in China.  Our objective is to contribute some thoughts to the issues that comprise the theme of the seminar and to offer our support for the continuing discussion of these issues. 

ACCCI was established in Sydney on 16 September 1976.  Its purpose is to foster two-way trade, commerce, industry, investment and cultural relations between the two countries.  Since the first years following the establishment of diplomatic relations with China in 1972, two-way trade grew from A$158 million to A$10.7 billion in 1999.  With Australia's population of 19.1 million, this is equivalent to A$560 (US$340) per person.  That amount is only slightly less than for the two-way trade between China and the United States, which was US$346 per person in the U. S. in 1999.1

Australia has traditionally been an important supplier of the industrial raw materials and foodstuffs China needs for its modernisation.  About 61 per cent of Australian merchandise exports to China are primary products and consist principally wool, wheat, sugar, barley, cotton, iron ore, alumina and coal.  In recent years, there has been an increase in manufactured exports such as electrical machinery and appliances and telecommunications equipment.  Exports of services, especially from Australian banks, law firms and insurance companies are also increasing.2

These trends, as well as the growing evidence of economic complementarities between Australia and China, are certain to increase with continued restructuring of the Chinese economy.  Participation in this important discussion is therefore consistent with the Chamber's objective of fostering two-way trade and investment.


About the Authors

The preparation of this paper illustrates the nature of the partnerships that the Chamber has fostered.  John Zerby, who is vice president of ACCCI, is an academic economist specialising in various development issues of the East Asian economies, including the Chinese economy.  His contribution to this paper is in proposing a framework for reform of law enforcement supervision. 

John Yuhong Wang, chief representative of ACCCI in Beijing, is a partner in a law firm in Beijing.  He has law degrees from the University of Beijing as well as the University of Sydney.  He is a business migration agent for Australia and also specialises in company law in China.  His contribution to this paper is in adding a more detailed discussion of China’s legal issues, including administrative enforcement of NPC laws.



The Role of the Public Sector in Implementing Reforms

Following the World Bank's definitions, we use the word “state” to refer to the set of institutions that possess the means of legitimate coercion that is exercised over a defined territory and its population.3  Although the word “government” is sometimes used in a more restrictive way in referring to the people who occupy positions of authority, we use the two words interchangeably.

The public sector consists of all people who are employed by the state and whose main income is derived from public funds.  These funds consist of tax revenues as well as income accruing to the state from government enterprises.  The public sector does not include employees of enterprises which may be partly or fully owned by the state but whose managerial decisions are made independently of the state.

A main function of the state is to assist in satisfying the economic and social needs of the people within its territory.4  This is generally achieved through two separate but related activities.  The first is establishing a set of rules that authorise and regulate the behaviour of all participants in the economic and social processes.  The second is the implementation of these rules in an efficient and effective way.

The portion of the public sector that sets the rules includes legislative authorities, such as national and sub-national people's congresses, as well as senior administrative personnel who have been delegated the authority to set rules and regulations.  The tasks of this portion of the public sector are (1) to accurately assess the economic and social needs of the population and (2) to establish rules and regulations that are effective in achieving those needs.

The portion of the public sector that implements the rules and regulations is sometimes referred to as the operational component of the state apparatus.  Although these groups or agencies within the government take instructions from the authorising and regulatory authorities, considerable discretion typically occurs in the way, and in the speed, with which the instructions are followed.  Perhaps of greater importance, the capacity of this portion of the public sector to implement the rules and regulations is a critical element in the success of both portions of the state apparatus.

A simple diagram can be used to show the relationship between these functions 5 (Fig 1).  The nation's economic and social needs are represented within the circle on the left-hand side.  The circle on the right-hand side represents the authorising and regulatory function of the state.  The relatively small overlap with the two circles indicates that the state is directly concerned with a correspondingly small portion of the nation's economic and social needs.  The remaining needs are supplied without assistance from the state.

Fig. 1.  Pubic sector functions and economic and social needs.

The third circle represents the implementation function of the public sector and its overlap with the other two circles (the shaded area) shows the portion of the nation's economic and social needs that are successfully met with both authorisation and implementation.  The efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector can therefore be assessed by the size of the shaded area relative to the resource costs associated with the two functions.

Prior to the beginning of economic reform in China in 1979, large portions of the nation's economic and social needs were supplied directly by the state.  This resulted from the fact that the state was the only effective supplier.  Authorisation and implementation were closely related through central planning, and rules consisted mainly of output targets combined with input quotas. 

Despite a relatively large shaded area in relation to public sector functions under the pre-reform arrangement, the economic costs were large and increased over time.  This was due mainly to the difficulty in matching output targets with the economic needs of the nation (mismatch between supply and demand).  The arrangement also limited technological development since this cannot be effectively entered into a central plan.

Economic reform was initiated for the purpose of allowing markets to develop in China and through this development to correct the mismatches between supply and demand.  The “open door” policy served the important function of allowing a greater amount of technology transfer.  The overwhelming success of these early reforms (in the 1980s) resulted in a rightward movement of the authorising and regulatory circle in Fig. 1, as a greater proportion of economic and social needs were supplied without direct involvement of the state. 

The implementation circle also shifted downward with increased progress in economic reform.  The reasons can be traced to (1) uncertainty about authorisation and regulation with the discontinuation of a central plan, and (2) increased complexities arising from a mixture of market outcomes and regulatory outcomes. 

China's three-tiered system of authorisation and implementation also contributed to greater implementation difficulties.  The central government was the first to withdraw from direct involvement and delegated much of the economic decision-making to lower levels of government.  Some implementation functions were therefore either partly or fully duplicated within the various levels.

This decentralisation was an essential element in breaking away from central planning.  It also conveyed the general belief that lower levels of government are more aware of the economic and social needs of the people within their respective territories.  Additionally, being closer to local markets, lower levels of government were expected to have a greater capacity to assist in adjusting local supplies to those markets.

The success of the initial reforms can be attributed more to the incentives built into the reforms than to the capacity of the public sector to implement them.  For example, the family responsibility system assured rural families of greater income through increases in state procurement prices and a capacity for sideline products that could be sold on the open market.  The desire to sustain this higher income gave rise to improvements in production methods.

Similarly, allowing state-owned enterprises to sell over-quota production on the open market, and to retain a large portion of the proceeds of those sales, created a strong incentive to comply with the industrial reforms.  As well, fiscal responsibility on the part of lower levels of government in China was encouraged through a system that allowed a greater portion of additional revenue to be retained at the lower levels.

During the 1990s, financial incentives for compliance with continuing reforms became more difficult to achieve.  For example, many township and village enterprises could not afford the cost of complying with environmental regulations and were forced to close down. 

Similarly, many state-owned industrial enterprises continued to incur debt as a result of lower profits with market-priced inputs and greater competition in their major output markets.  The capacity of many of these traditional enterprises to initiate new products (or new production methods) was limited by their existing indebtedness.  Their ability to reduce costs was restricted by the social obligations that were carried over from the earlier industrial system.

Perhaps of greater importance to the continuing success of economic reform in China, as the market system became a more controlling element in the price and quantity of most outputs, markets became more interdependent.  For example, fewer employment opportunities with township and village enterprises added to the desire for rural-to-urban migration and this increased the need for more urban infrastructure. 

New (or different) economic and social needs were therefore created by the market economy.  Although some of these were predictable, the time necessary for authorisation was in some cases substantial, especially if a new law required old laws to be amended (or if a new law enacted by an upper-level government conflicted with those of a lower-level government).  Similarly, with increased trade among neighbouring provinces, implementation of an authorisation or regulation by one provincial government often conflicted with similar implementation for another provincial government.

To summarise the role of the state in economic activities in China, during the 1980s the authorisation and regulatory function of the state focused on creating an environment within which the regulation of economic activities would become more market oriented.  The implementation function followed the principles that were established for a more open and a more decentralised system.

Public sector personnel at provincial and municipal/county levels became more involved in promotional activities.  These functions are generally regarded as being successful, although, as noted above, implementation costs may have increased through a duplication of efforts among the various levels of government.

During the early 1990s, the authorisation and regulatory function of the state began to focus on administrative adjustments that were necessary to maintain macroeconomic stability.  Inflationary pressures occupied much of the attention of administrators and rising unemployment following cut-backs in state-owned enterprises became a major issue in the first half of that decade. 

The East Asian crisis that began in 1997 highlighted weaknesses in regional financial systems and motivated a number of authorising and regulatory initiatives of the central government in China.  A new securities law, a reorganisation of the People's Bank of China and supervisory committees for the large state banks were important outcomes of these efforts.

Implementation of these new laws was apparently easier with the creation of new institutional arrangements.  For example, the China Securities Regulatory Commission that was formed in 1992 is implementing the securities law.  New regional offices of the People's Bank of China were created and the Product Quality Law established a new group of inspectors who issue public warnings for non-compliance.

Little occurred during the 1990s to foster a re-orientation of the public sector, especially with lower levels of government, to increase their capacity to implement continuing administrative adjustments.  We focus on this aspect from the remainder of the discussion.


Relevance to Law Enforcement Supervision

The judicial system in most countries has both an interpretative function and an enforcement function.  These functions are sometimes difficult to separate and therefore do not fit easily into the simplified scheme shown in Fig. 1.  Nevertheless, there is a connection.

While the interpretative function of the judicial system has an impact on the content and application of rules that are established by the authorising and regulatory function of the state, the judiciary depends upon a prior authorisation through which the relevant law was initiated.  The interpretative function is therefore a form of implementation.  In China this is clearly distinguished with an interpretative function given to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.6

As a dispute resolution procedure the judicial system operates in a manner that is similar to a range of informal resolution schemes within the public sector.  Additionally, as an instrument for enforcing law, the judicial system is closely related to major industry “watchdogs” that are part of the state apparatus.

A recent report by the Australian Law Reform Commission, entitled, Managing Justice: A Review of the Federal Civil Justice System 7 recognised this connection.  The Commission recommended that empirical studies be made of the quality and effectiveness of all such dispute resolution and “watchdog” schemes with a view to determining their ultimate impact on the workloads of courts and tribunals.

We suggest that this connection justifies a broadly based framework within which the capability of law enforcement supervision can be made.  A framework is concerned with a coherent set of ideas for influencing and initiating action.  A framework does not necessarily emerge fully developed.  It may evolve over a period of time; but it must have at any given time a series of component-ideas that can be used as reference points in the evolutionary process.

We are aware that reforms in China have generally been made in a step-by-step manner, rather than instituting a single, comprehensive program that includes a range of reforms affecting most aspects of public sector functions.  The choice made by China has proved to be successful in creating durable outcomes.8  We nevertheless suggest that the connection between enforcement of Forestry Law and Environmental Protection Law with other types of enforcement, and with other public sector functions, requires that some attention be given to a broadly based framework.


Improving the Capability of the Public Sector

Australia is frequently mentioned by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as an example of public sector reforms that were aimed at making the functions of government more transparent, competitive and results-oriented.  Although these objectives apply to most countries, the manner in which the reforms are instituted will necessarily differ as a result of many social, cultural and historical factors. 

We do not suggest that Australia's public sector is or should be a “model” for China's public sector.  Nevertheless, some of the ways in which public sector institutions were strengthened in Australia are worthy of consideration.  A major objective of this seminar is to learn from the experience of other countries, and that is frequently more effective if it is built up in a case-by-case manner.

Written Comments about Policies from the Public Sector

During the 1980s, the central government in Australia initiated the practice of requiring written comments from various ministries and agencies on the proposals for new policies (or policy changes) from other ministries and agencies.  This accomplished two objectives. 

First, in order to issue constructive comments, it was necessary for the various ministries and agencies to acquire some of the knowledge that was previously reserved for one ministry or agency.  This increased the degree of flexibility in the public sector and enabled transfers of personnel from one ministry to another to be made more easily.

Second, the comments gave an indication of implementation capability.  This, in turn, led to changes in the authorisation or regulation for the purpose of tailoring it to suit the capability.  It also highlighted areas where improvements in capability were required.

Success depended upon adherence to a fairly rigid timetable in order to avoid long delays in the policy planning stage.  Not all ministries and agencies viewed the task of commenting on the activities of other ministries with equal seriousness, but generally those with interests similar to those contained in a proposal accepted the task as an important part of their own work plan.  The desire to gain a better understanding of the work plans of similar ministries became part of their medium-term institutional strategies.

In applying this to China, we note that discussions frequently occur among representatives of various ministries, departments and offices.  However, most of these discussions are organised to suit particular issues and are arranged as a special occasion, such as this seminar.  These discussions and seminars are of course important and should be continued. 

We recommend that a procedure be established for regular and more continuous exchanges of opinion about the tasks and work plans of the public sector organisations that are represented here today.

Cost of New Proposals Balanced Against Offsetting Savings

The principal objective of public sector reform in Australia was to allow changes in policies to occur without adding increasingly larger amounts to government spending.  During the 1970s and early 1980s, non-government organisations called attention to the apparent desire of some ministries and agencies to increase their size, and therefore their influence within the public sector, by proposing an ever-expanding range of new policies and programs.  Other ministries and agencies then followed in the same manner and this added substantially to the size of government.

Similar experiences occurred in other countries in relation to government regulations.  Increased complexity in the regulatory process not only added to the cost of doing business, for those enterprises that were being regulated, but it also increased the number of personnel employed by the regulators.  This was one of the most pressing arguments that led to a general downsizing of the public sector in most countries.

The need to find offsetting savings also encouraged innovations in administrative procedures.  Non-government people cannot evaluate government administration easily or quickly (though they may have useful input for improving the procedures).  Public sector innovations are more easily obtained from within the public sector, but some form of incentive is generally necessary to stimulate the innovative process.

In relation to Forestry Law and Environmental Law, cost savings arise mainly from the capacity to prevent severe damage to forests and to the environment.  While the cost of this damage is difficult to connect directly to compliance with a specific forestry or environmental laws, it is important to initiate the thought process that evaluates of the benefits of enforcement and compliance, relative to the costs of achieving the enforcement and compliance.

On the issue of measurement, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and most bilateral aid agencies in OECD countries have evolved a process for benefit-cost analysis that can be applied to individual projects.  We have had some experience with this type of analysis and recognise that the quantitative procedures generally lack precision.  However, the important contribution that stems from the analysis, is not the final figure, but rather the systematic procedure of collecting (listing) the various costs and the benefits. 

We recommend that supervisory personnel in China’s regulatory divisions give greater attention to measures of the costs and benefits of law enforcement and use these measures to develop a comprehensive work plan. 

Measuring Public Sector Performance From Outcomes

The public sector at the central government level in Australia is almost fully oriented toward performance based upon results or outcomes.  The preference for “outcomes” rather than “outputs” is difficult to trace, but seems to have developed from limitations associated with measuring physical units of outputs.9

Perhaps the most common use of “outcome” is in relation to a policy or plan, and is frequently linked to the stated objectives of a specific activity.  We use, for purposes of illustration, the objectives of this seminar:

It is the aim of this international seminar to organise the experts from home and abroad to exchange views on the issues of legal enforcement supervision, to pass on the successful practices and experiences of overseas legal supervision machinery, and to learn from the foreign experience so as to benefit the construction of our own legal supervision environment.

A likely outcome of the seminar is a list of priorities that will subsequently be examined by the participating public sector agencies for the purpose of initiating reforms in the way they supervise the enforcement of relevant laws and regulations.

It might appear that an “outcome” is a mere restatement of the objectives, but it does more than that.  In order to add value, the restatement must be put in such a way that it can be confirmed later as a specific result (or set of results) of the activity.  This gives rise to two benefits.  First, it focuses attention during the activity on what is to be achieved.  In that sense, it helps to avoid wasted or ineffective effort.  Second, it provides a convenient basis to assessing whether the time, effort and expense that went into the activity can be justified.

Applying this to enforcement of environmental laws, outcomes should extend beyond a “target output” of inspecting a fixed number of factories for emission standards or imposing a specific number of fines.  Enforcement outcomes should include a realistic target for environmental improvements, together with a human resources plan to achieve those targets. 

We recommend that enforcement supervision in China adopt a “outcomes approach” that links feasible and realistic implementation objectives to human resource requirements. 

These outcomes should be stated in such a way that they can be subsequently confirmed in relation to both the input of resources as well as the implementation output, with due consideration given to qualitative factors.

Educating Enforcement Officials

The Australian Law Reform Commission (reference given in note 6) made a strong case for improvements in education, training and accountability for the entire legal profession.  Emphasis was placed on traditional members of the profession (lawyers, judges and members of tribunals), but a similar statement could be made that includes public sector personnel engaged in enforcement activities. 

Education, training and accountability are of utmost importance in getting the supervisory structures right, achieving reform within the entire system and maintaining high standards of performance.  A healthy professional culture requires lifelong learning and takes ethical concerns seriously.

The Commission also found that a training program for professional skills that is properly conceived and executed should not be a narrow technical or vocational exercise.  Rather, it should be fully based upon an appropriate mixture of theory and practice, devoted to the refinement of the high order intellectual skills, and calculated to create a sense of ethical propriety, as well as and professional and social responsibility.10

Professional practitioners in Australia were queried to determine the type of skills that were missing from their basic education.  Communication skills were identified most frequently.  Skills of critical appraisal of information and research, including statistics, were also mentioned.

We recommend that the educational requirements for law enforcement supervisors and officials be comprehensively studied in China for the purpose of designing a professional training program that would contribute to the achievement of specific objectives. 

These objectives should include: (a) adopting the right supervisory structures, (b) achieving reform within the entire enforcement system, and (c) maintaining high standards of performance.

Improving Intergovernmental Relations in China

We believe that the administrative system linking the three levels of government will be placed under increasing pressure as a result of the competing needs of smaller jurisdictions. The new Legislation Law, which was adopted on 15 March 2000 and will become effective on 1 July 2000, will help to avoid, and hopefully eliminate, the conflicts and inconsistencies between national laws and laws of lower-level governments. 

We note that the new law clarifies the separation of law-making authority among the three levels in China, and in doing so it conveys elements of a federal system of government.  Perhaps more importantly for supervision of law enforcement, the new law requires lower-level governments to amend or repeal, on a timely basis, any decree or provision that contravenes a national law or administrative regulation.11 

Specific authority is given to higher-levels of government in China to review and approve local decrees before they are implemented.12  Authority is also given to higher-level governments to amend or cancel existing decrees or administrative rules or local rules that are considered to be inappropriate.13 

Enforcement of any such amendments or cancellations is nevertheless a major concern.  Provincial governors and mayors of municipal governments will be assessed mainly on their contributions in their own jurisdictions, and compliance with higher-level laws may not receive priority treatment by the lower-level public sector. 

Lower level governments will need to know why their legislation must be changed and may need to be convinced that the national laws and regulations are better then their local laws and regulations.  Regular briefings by the higher-level government may accomplish part of this objective, but we think that may not be enough.

Lower level governments are likely to require technical assistance to guide them in the necessary compliance and in enforcing the resulting laws and regulations.  We can suggest that the procedures adopted by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank in giving technical assistance to borrowing countries, so that they may more easily comply with the respective bank’s requirements, could serve as a model. 

Bank staff or external consultants are assigned to the appropriate ministry for designated periods of time.  The type of assistance required is generally determined by negotiation between the bank and the relevant ministry.  Personnel assigned to the technical assistant tasks are given specific instructions and their work is carefully monitored. 

We recommend that technical assistance be provided to lower-level governments by higher-level governments for improved supervision of specific laws and regulations that follow from the authorisation and regulatory function of the higher-level governments.

We believe that this will build stronger institutional arrangements between central ministries and counterpart departments in the lower-level governments.  It will also lead to a transfer of knowledge and experience that will enhance capability at all levels.  We suggest that a stronger institutional linkage will become increasingly more important as China develops more fully its “rule by law”.


The Possibility of a Chinese Academy of Law

The suggestion of an Australian Academy of Law was made by the Australian Law Reform Commission (in paragraph 2.115 of the reference cited at note 7).  The proposed academy would have an institutional standing that is approximately that of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA), the Australian Academy of Humanities (AAH) and the Australian Academy of Science (AAS). 

A similar suggestion could be made for a Chinese Academy of Law.  Such an organisation could draw together the various strands of the legal system to facilitate effective intellectual interchange through discussion and research in areas of concern.  It could nurture coalitions of interest and could have a special focus on issues of professionalism (including ethics) and on education and training.

Since such an academy is only now being proposed in Australia, we cannot give you an account of Australian experiences.  We note, however, from the comments of the Australian Law Reform Commission, that the Singapore Academy of Law and the American Law Institute comprise similar bodies. 

We suggest that a Chinese Academy of Law could give increased status and recognition within China to the “rule of law”.  This would greatly assist the task of law enforcement and would also allow on-going linkages with similar academies in other countries.

The need for such on-going linkages will become more important when China becomes a member of the World Trade Organisation.  Trade disputes often arise as a result of incomplete information about the way one nation makes and enforces trade laws in a "uniform, impartial and reasonable" manner. 

Information that is not up-to-date creates misunderstandings about enforcement of laws.  For example, a recent opinion by Stanley Lubman of the Stanford Law School stated:

In addition, [China] should provide for procedures to challenge legislation, both prospective and already in effect.  This would be an innovation, because under current Chinese practice, administrative agencies can be challenged by affected persons or organisations if they allegedly misapply laws in specific cases; but general rules cannot be challenged as illegal or as conflicting with other laws or regulations.  China should commit to repair this omission.14

This has now been changed by the Legislation Law mentioned earlier,15 but a delay in recognising that change focuses attention on what has already been done and therefore creates an erroneous impression of the tasks remaining.  A timely exchange of information is of vital importance in preventing conflicts, and a highly regarded organisation is required for the purpose exchanging that information.

Need for Incentives

We mentioned in an earlier section that economic reform during the 1980s proceeded well because of the financial incentives that were built into the reforms.  Subsequent reforms were more difficult mainly because they lacked corresponding financial incentives.

Success in reforming the environment for law enforcement supervision in China, and in reforming other aspects of the legal system, will require other incentives to be created.  As the reform process expands it will also be necessary to neutralise disincentives.

It is generally easier to prescribe the necessary ingredients of the reform process than to create the incentives.  From the economic point of view, the cost of the incentives must not be greater than the benefits that are expected to arise from the reform.  This is even more difficult to determine.

Whether the reform process is step-by-step or comprehensive, it is necessary to pause periodically to ensure that the costs are not exceeding the benefits.  The decision-making process is likely to be easier for forestry and environmental protection since the residents of the community will have visible evidence of the benefit.  They must nevertheless be convinced that the process will achieve visible benefits before they, as individuals, willingly comply with laws and regulations.

Some environmentalists have suggested that sustainable development begins with individuals who volunteer to restrict their behaviour, based mainly on faith that others will do the same.  Less faith is required as the numbers build to the point at which visible benefits appear, but it is then more difficult to prevent individuals from refusing to comply since they view their individual actions as insignificant to the continued improvements.

This means that the environment for law enforcement supervision must continuously re-invent itself and change to suit changing circumstances.  It is nevertheless important to get the right structure with each change, since otherwise the tasks of achieving compliance will be increasingly more difficult.

We hope some of the suggestions we made will help to focus attention on obtaining the “right structure”.  We cannot state what the structure should be, since it must inevitably have characteristics that suit China’s specific law enforcement needs.  Seminars such as this one are important steps in achieving that outcome.





1. Australia's exports to China in 1999 were $A4,084 million and imports were A$6,578 (Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade).  U. S. exports to China in 1999 were US$13,118 million and imports were US$81,786 (U.S. Census, Foreign Trade Division).  The population of the U. S. is 274.6 million.  The current exchange rate of US$0.6071 per Australian dollar was applied. 

2. Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, “People's Republic of China, Trade and Investment”, from Country/Economic Information at Internet site:

3. World Bank, The State in a Changing World, World Development Report 1997, p 20.

4. Traditionally, the state is said to have certain “core” functions including national defence, ensuring the security of persons and property, educating the citizenry and enforcing contracts.  See World Bank (note 3), p. 20.  On this basis, other functions are “non-core” and need not be supplied entirely or directly by the state.  These other functions should nevertheless contribute in a measurable way to satisfying social and economic needs, and the state has the responsibility of ensuring that adequate supplies are available.

5. The diagram is a variation of one used by Anwar Shan, “Balance, Accountability and Responsiveness: Lessons About Decentralisation”, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2021.

6. Refer to Section Four (Article 42) of The Legislation Law of the People’s Republic of China.

7. Available at:

8. In comparison, public sector reforms that are undertaken on a comprehensive basis often require frequent adjustments or “fine tuning” to suit particular situations.  See Michele de Laine, “International Themes in Public Service Reform”, Background Paper 3, 1997-98, Parliament of Australia, Parliamentary Library, 22 September 1997.

9. A number of published discussions relating to the undesirable features of reliance upon physical output as a measure of performance can be found, but several such features that are mentioned by Michele de Laine (op. cit. at note 7) are particularly good.

10. Australian Law Reform Commission, op. cit. (at note 6), paragraph 2.85.

11. Stated in Article 64 of The Legislation Law of the People’s Republic of China.

12. Stated in Article 63 of The Legislation Law of the People’s Republic of China.

13. Stated in Article 88 of The Legislation Law of the People’s Republic of China.

14. “China's Accession to the WTO: Unfinished Business in Geneva”, by Stanley Lubman, dated 6 May 2000 in ChinaOnline [].

15. Article 90 of the Legislation Law states: “Where any state organ and social group, enterprise or non-enterprise institution or citizen other than the bodies enumerated above, deem that an administrative regulation, local decree, autonomous decree or special decree contravenes the Constitution or a national law, it may make a written proposal to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for review, and the office of operation of the Standing Committee shall study such proposal, and where necessary, it shall distribute such proposal to the relevant special committees for review and comments.”  The translation was by John Jiang and is published in ChinaOnline [].

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