Comparative Corporate Governance: A Chinese Perspective
In marked contrast to other regimes that have, virtually overnight, abandoned state control of enterprises and espoused Western models of corporate governance, China has pursued a gradual transition suited to its own unique traditions, culture, and customs. Although this new corporate system is still evolving, it is clear that China is now ready for a nation-wide movement of corporatisation and reform. "Comparative Corporate Governance" draws on the entire corpus of corporate governance theory, both East and West, and also on the experience of many countries since the 1930s, to develop a coherent model appropriate for China. In the process the author shows how various corporate mechanisms have been tentatively introduced into China's state-owned enterprises and how such experimentation has, piece by piece, provided a firm basis for a modern enterprise system. How to build an efficient and culturally appropriate governance system, both in law and in practice, on this foundation is the focus of this book. The analysis is notable for its insistence that, for a corporate governance system to work, the principles and practicalities of that system must be derived from customary cultural norms. Experience shows that imported models, although they may be enshrined in law, lead to economic stagnation unless actual practice is monitored and reformed and the laws change to reflect these necessary adjustments. Thus the model proposed here begins with the Company Law of 1994, and proceeds to show how practical experience is already providing valuable data for the task of improving the law. This process, by which law and business practice continue to "regulate" each other, is, in the author's view, the essential ingredient of a successful corporate system. The author's approach is fundamentally comparative. He discusses and analyses models that have either created globally powerful corporate economies or carried out reforms that have brought new insights to corporate development. In this connection he examines the law and experience of the UK, the USA, Germany, and Japan, as well as Chinese communities overseas and some former British Commonwealth countries.