Since the mid 1990s, the Government of China has been developing the regulations, laws, and implementing procedures necessary to bring public procurement under a comprehensive administrative and legal framework. This paper traces the history of its development and explains the motivations: improved quality of public projects, increased transparency, development of national standards, and the relationship with trade. It describes the unique aspects and challenges of China's procurement system, notably the existence of two laws (the Tendering and Bidding Law and the Government Procurement Law), the influences of social and economic policy, and the use of procurement agents. The paper concludes with an assessment of future needs to consolidate the various procurement-related laws, develop implementing regulations, disseminate information, and strengthen the oversight function.
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