The reform of the urban housing system, begun in the late 1980s, has resulted in a general improvement in accommodation for most of the urban population in China. In less than twenty years, the government managed to provide new and reasonable quality owner-occupied housing to as much as 80 per cent of the urban population. This achievement was made possible by the transition to a market economy and the rapid economic growth that followed.
Economic growth and the transition to a market economy have strained the employment relationship, leading to rising disputes. Labour disputes grew between 1994 and 2006 from 19,098 to about 317,000, including 14,000 collective labour disputes involving 350,000 workers, or 51 per cent of the total workers involved in labour disputes.
For the past 20 years, China has embarked on a multi-track programme of reforms to build a bankruptcy system. The passage of an Enterprise Bankruptcy Law in 2006 (2006 EBL) represents a milestone, but there is still a long way to go.
This is the ﬁrst book in English on judicial independence in China. This may not seem surprising given China remains an effectivelysingle-party socialist authoritarian state, the widely reported prosecutions of political dissidents and the conventional wisdom that China has never had independent courts.
It is unwarranted or too early to conclude that China’s transition is ‘trapped’, legally and politically. Judging the level of China’s political and legal reform and development, and whether it is adequate to the challenges it faces, is problematic.