After more than thirty years of economic reforms, China appears to have settled into a form of state capitalism that is likely to endure as long as the Communist Party retains power. This essay provides a critical overview of some of the key features and contradictions that characterize this particular form of capitalism and reviews some recent influential critiques of this system. Many observers have viewed the resurgence of the state-controlled economy as a shift away from policies more hospitable to both indigenous entrepreneurs and foreign capital in the 1980s and 1990s. Drawing on the author's own research with entrepreneurs in China, however, this essay argues for the importance of moving beyond the dichotomy of the controlling state and the free market.

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