Edited by Vai Io Lo and Mary Hiscock
Chapter 16: China's path to development: Does law matter?
On the world scene, the class phenomenon is replicated. Depending on the level of economic development, there are developed countries, developing countries and the least developed countries. The status of being a developed, developing or least developed country not only signifies a countryís wealth and technological advancement, but also conveys how much voice it can have and what impact it can produce in the international arena. Accordingly development is the ultimate goal of many aspiring countries. In their journey to development, developing and the least developed countries (hereinafter collectively referred to as developing countries) do not travel alone. Unlike other pressing issues facing the world, the goals to lift millions of people out of poverty and to improve the quality of life of the disadvantaged are shared by most, if not all, countries (UNDP, 2000). Developed countries would like to help, whether out of altruistic, resource-seeking, or hegemonic motives. In this connection developed countries, through international financial institutions and development aid offices, have been providing grants, loans and technical assistance to developing countries under the condition that economic, legal and/or political reforms are to be undertaken (Krever, 2011, pp. 291ñ4; Ohnesorge, 2007b, pp. 305ñ6; Thomas, 2011, pp. 991ñ8). The fundamental question is: what kinds of economic, legal or political reforms should developing countries adopt to foster development?
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