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The Hierarchical Structure and the System of Ownership in China's Rural Enterprises

  • Agricultural Science
  • Design
  • Economics


For this discussion the author has selected the counties of Wuxi, Jieshou, Nanhai, and Shangyao for on-the-spot investigation; these are deemed to be representative of several major models or types of development of enterprises in China's countryside. They were also chosen for the fact that they possess extremely vivid and outstanding regional characteristics. Wuxi and Nanhai are situated in relatively well-off regions, and Shangyao and Jieshou are located in poorer areas. I believe that although the hierarchical structure and rights and interests relationships in China's rural enterprises have epitomized the ideological proposition of realizing the public ownership concept, they nonetheless do not represent an enterprise system that is created strictly on the basis of a rigorous theoretical design. In fact, quite to the contrary, they are to a large degree the product of the continuous adaptations by the central leadership in response to the practical demands of economic development and to all sorts of other pressures, in the process of correcting some of the unrealistic policies of the past. This hierarchical structure and the ownership system were formed against the background of defending the system of the special privileges for the cities vis-Ã -vis the countryside and for industry vis-Ã -vis agriculture. The core problem of this study is the question of the adaptability of this organizational structure and this ownership system to the development of the rural economy in the various places in China, within which there is great internal divergence.

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