Cato Book Issued in China at Last

January/​February 1995 • Policy Report

After a long wait, the Chinese edition of the Institute’s book Economic Reform in China: Problems and Prospects, based on a Cato conference held in Shanghai in 1988, was published by Fudan University Press in October. The English edition, coedited by Cato vice president for academic affairs James A. Dorn and Fudan’s Wang Xi and published by the University of Chicago Press and the Cato Institute, came out in 1990 and is now on sale for $5.00.

The Chinese‐​language volume was delayed for more than five years because of official reaction to the pro‐​democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square and because Milton Friedman, a contributor to the volume, had met with a former head of the Communist party who had fallen out of official favor. The way to publication was apparently cleared when Friedman returned to China in 1993 and visited with Jiang Zemin, the Communist party general secretary and president. That meeting was attended by Wang Xi and a former president of Fudan University, Xie Xide, who wrote the preface to the Chinese edition.

In his foreword, Dorn, who recently returned from China where he was a guest lecturer at Fudan University, writes, “While the prospects for China’s future development are bright, there are also problems. Foremost among these are the need to eliminate corruption and reduce uncertainty by establishing a rule of law, the need to increase the security of property rights, the need to restrain government spending on inefficient state enterprises, the need to control inflation, and the need to create a modern system of banking and finance.”

Wang Xi adds in his foreword, “Although we may not agree with all of the views expressed by the Western scholars in this volume, nevertheless, many of the analyses contained in their papers are worth studying and taking into serious consideration.”