From 1949 to the present, the People's Republic of China (China) has promulgated numerous labor-related statutes, regulations, and decrees to meet changes engendered by shifting economic and social policies. This article attempts to provide a legislative analysis of labor and employment in China, illustrating the labor-management problems China has experienced and the corresponding policies and measures designed to resolve them. In doing so, this article will concretely depict the economic, social, and political environments in which Chinese laborers have lived and to which law as an institution has contributed.
To accomplish its objective, this article is divided into two main parts: labor measures in a nonmarket-driven economy and labor legislation in a market-driven economy. The year of 1979 is chosen as the watershed because around that time China began to launch its economic reforms. Specifically, the discussion on labor reforms before 1979 is designed to provide background information for the current labor and employment issues in China. A larger portion of this article, however, concentrates on labor legislation since 1979, because many important labor-related statutes and regulations were passed after China had formally embarked on reforming its economy. In addition, the statutes and regulations selected here are discussed in chronological order, detailing the evolving trend of labor legislation in China.
- economic reform
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