This concluding chapter summarizes the preceding discussions and presents some final thoughts. The book has examined the evolving tensions among three forces: the market (exemplified by the strategies of state-owned enterprises and private employers), the state (the central government and the party as well as local governments), and the Chinese working class (including workers, labor unions, and civil society). It shows that the future of informal employment in China depends on the continuing interplay between these forces. Evidence suggests that, in the near term, prospects for a significant reduction in informal employment are dim, despite the aggressive efforts of the central Chinese state to curb the practice by introducing new labor laws beginning in 2008.
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