Political systems and financial reform process: A comparative study of China, Taiwan and New Zealand

This paper proposes that if a political system is more like to facilitate a unified government, to establish a strong executive body and to respond to the needs of the majority, financial reforms are more likely to emerge from the policymaking process and produce positive results. On the contrary, political systems that discourage those governing features are less likely to produce reforms. This chapter compares financial reform processes in China, Taiwan and New Zealand. All of them performed low level of financial reforms in the early 1980s but resulted in different situations later.

In the mid-2000s, New Zealand heralded the most efficient and stable financial system; while Taiwan lagged behind and China performed the worst. Evidence showed that China’s authoritarian system may be the most superior in forming a unified government with a strong executive, but the policy priority often responds more to the interests of a small group of power elites; therefore the result of financial reform can be limited. Taiwan’s presidential system can produce greater financial reform when the ruling party controls both executive and legislative bodies, but legislative obstructions may occur under a divided government. New Zealand’s Westminster system produces the most effective and efficient financial reform due to its unified government and a strong executive branch with consistent and stable supports from the New Zealand Parliament.

Keyword: Political System, Policymaking, Financial Reform, China, Taiwan, New Zealand

Author: Ian Tsung-yen Chen

Status: Published in Asian Leadership in Policy and Governance (UK: Emerald) in September 2015.

History: This article has not been published or presented before.

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