At the World Economic Forum’s recent meeting in Davos, China’s Vice Premier Liu He made a strong statement in support of a more open Chinese economy and the rule of law. Western nations have been quick to show their enthusiasm for this move, but it is important to remember that Chinese leaders have always called for a “socialist market economy” rather than an entirely free market system.
The concept of “socialism with Chinese characteristics” has been used by the Communist Party since 1978 as part of its economic reform program. This means that while there are some elements of capitalism within China’s economic structure, they remain heavily regulated and controlled by the government. Many foreign investors view these regulations as too restrictive and believe that loosening them would create greater opportunities for investment in China.
In order for true economic freedom to be achieved, it is essential that all participants – both domestic and international – can operate on equal terms without fear or favoritism from any political group or individual actor. A truly free market will also require transparency so everyone knows what rules apply when engaging with one another economically; this includes clear laws governing contracts between parties involved in business transactions along with fair enforcement mechanisms should disputes arise over those agreements.