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.
The standard frameworks used to evaluate constitutional systems are not well suited to exposing transitional capacity. The constitutional problems that Minxin Pei’s Trapped in Transition focuses on do not reveal the system’s eventual capacity to transcend them.
Constitutional disputes are unique among social disputes, given that the constitutionality or legality of laws (acts) and government actions is contested, and to solve them requires particular institutions and procedures.
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.