Book Talk: The Administrative Foundations of the Chinese Fiscal State

Taxation Law Research Programme (TLRP)

Book Talk

The Administrative Foundations of the Chinese Fiscal State

14 April 2023

Powerpoint is available HERE.

On subjects ranging from trade to democratization, there has lately been a wave of laments about China’s development belying Western expectations. Yet these disappointments often come with misunderstandings of the very institutions that China was expected to adopt. Chinese taxation offers a sharp illustration. When China introduced a tax system suited for the market economy, it fully intended tax collection to rely on self-assessment, audits, and the rule of law. But this Western approach was quickly jettisoned in favour of one that emphasized monitoring of taxpayers and ex ante interventions, at the expense of deterrence and truthful reporting norms. The Chinese approach surprisingly matches recommendations made by recent economic scholarship on tax compliance and state capacity. China’s massive but little-known explorations in taxation highlight the distinct types of modern state capacity, and raise challenging questions about the future of taxation and the superiority of institutions based on rule of law. More information about the book is available here.

About the speaker:

Professor Wei CUI joined the law faculty at the University of British Columbia in 2013. His research and writing span a wide range of topics in tax law and policy, including international taxation, tax administration and compliance, tax and development, the value added tax, and tax and spending policies targeted at the labor market. His current research projects examine the design of international taxation in light of the evolution of international trade, and compare redistributive policies in democratic v. authoritarian countries. Wei also has secondary research interests in the modern administrative state, especially the analysis of interactions among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government in parliamentary polities and in non-democratic regimes. Before becoming a full-time academic, Wei practiced tax law for over 10 years in New York and Beijing. During 2009-2010, he was Senior Tax Counsel at the China Investment Corporation. He has also served as a consultant to China’s National People’s Congress, Ministry of Finance and State Administration of Taxation, as well as to the United Nations.

Chair: Professor Richard Cullen, TLRP Convenor

The Webinar will be conducted in English.

Enquiries: Flora Leung at