Beijing, not yet ready via Wikipedia
But leadership does not depend on cash reserves alone. To lay credible claim to a bigger global role, Beijing must show it understands the rules that make a modern economy work and how to play by them. The economic downturn has only shown how far behind Beijing is in this regard. China’s market institutions clearly lag those in more advanced Asian and Western countries. Parts of the government continue to blatantly disregard property rights and contracts. Rules are conveniently bent to favor powerful state entities.
Victor Shih goes over a wide range of recent incidents and his conclusion is devastating:
In all these examples, the Chinese government could have chosen to show the world it is willing to respect property rights, enforce contracts fairly and discipline firms that violate the rules regardless of their political connections. Instead rules were disregarded to maintain the facade of relative budgetary balance and SOE profitability, and connected insiders and large SOEs with political influence were once again told that they need not adhere to contracts. Private entrepreneurs and outsiders were reminded that the law means little without political backing.