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Public private partnerships in China: System, constraints and future prospects

John Adams (Napier University Business School, Edinburgh, UK)
Alistair Young (Paisley Business School, Paisley, UK)
Wu Zhihong (Shandong University of Finance, Shandong, Peoples Republic of China)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 1 June 2006




Public private partnership (PPP), which has been operating in China for over 20 years. In addition, an increased focus on value for money in the public sector has led to a need to improve the efficiency of the management, delivery and effectiveness of public services, especially at the local level. This paper aims to examines the PPP system and the problems yet to be overcome at a time when China is seeking to widen the use of PPP in sectors as yet not open to it.


The paper examines the current PPP system in China and identifies the constraints facing it in the context of several models of bureaucracy arguing that these are as valid in China as they have been in the West.


The paper argues that there are five key constraints present in the Chinese PPP system and that these are fundamentally associated with risks of various types.

Practical implications

Extending PPP in China will require significant reform of public sector administration, closer supervision, transparent regulatory systems and easier access to capital for local private sector firms.


This paper should be of interest to both academics and practitioners in the field of PPP in terms of theoretical debate, key issues and the specific prospects for PPP in China.



Adams, J., Young, A. and Zhihong, W. (2006), "Public private partnerships in China: System, constraints and future prospects", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 384-396.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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