Zuo Wu is a PhD student in the Lau China Institute.
Thesis title: 'The united front work in building a corporative state-cusiness relationship: A study of the Chinese people’s political consultative conference in the reform era'
The economic reform in China brings not only remarkable economic achievements but also a booming private sector. Scholars, worldwide, wonder if the booming private sector will bring political changes to China. Yet the answer is negative, and some scholars even give a completely opposite answer: the private sector becomes the CCP's most powerful ally instead. This is due to a corporative state-business relationship.
There are three approaches used by the party to build such a corporative relationship: 1) the Red rapitalist approach (the Communist Party of China (CCP) integrates itself with the private sector, both by co-opting entrepreneurs into the Party and encouraging current Party members to go into business); 2) the Party building approach (to build Party organisations in private enterprises); 3) the united front approach (one of the CCP's three 'great secret weapons').
The CCP's united front work (including the United Front Work Department and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)) proactively engage with influential non-party private entrepreneurs. The united front approach is somehow overlooked by the literature. Zuo's research aims to present and examine the united front approach towards building corporatism state-business relations.