China and the World Bank: How a Partnership Was Built
SCID Working Paper 277
The World Bank played an important role in China’s economic transformation since the late 1970s. China used the World Bank well and the Bank was responsive to China’s needs. The Bank did not recommend early or comprehensive market liberalization or privatization, as it did in some other transition economies, but supported China’s pragmatic—learning-by-doing—approach to economic reform. It pushed at the margin for critical institutional and policy reforms, presenting perspective based on international experience, while providing technical assistance in numerous areas, often through Bank-supported projects. As the Chinese gained expertise, confidence and access to international capital markets, the role of the Bank in China inevitably shrank. China now uses the Bank mainly for selective technical, institutional and conceptual innovations for development. China and the World Bank both gained from their interaction.