china law

Why learning how to get things accomplished in the PRC is Important?

Getting things accomplished in the PRC is not easy for a foreigner. The workings of the Chinese system of doing business often seem patently irrational to Westerners, though they do possess an internal logic of their own. An appreciation of how things work and why they happen as they do is the key to manipulating the system to server your ends.

This understanding requires the grasp of several basic points about the Chinese system:

  • China's bureaucracy is vast, powerful, entrenched, and exceptionally resistant to change. It is also monolithic, but rather a collection of commissions, ministries, bureaus, and state-owned corporations with their own, often conflicting, bureaucratic interests.
  • China still allocates resources in ways that are not necessarily immediately apparent, let alone fair or equitable.
  • Where there is a roadblock or what appears to be a no-win situation, the Chinese will usually try to find an indirect solution through which everyone can win.
  • The Chinese abhor open conflict among people, so disputes and animosities are either expected to be resolved in peaceful ways or are permitted to fester, quietly unresolved, for years. Either way, preserving decorum and harmony is always of paramount importance.
  • The motives that people have for doing things in China include self-aggrandizement, usually in the form of enhancement of face or prestige and financial gain, as well as avoidance of blame, avoidance of responsibility or simply reduction of one's level of irritation.