Why Are PPP Projects Stagnating in China? An Evolutionary Analysis of China's PPP Policies

Yougui Li , Erman Xu, Zhuoyou Zhang, Shuxian He, Xiaoyan Jiang*, Martin Skitmore

*Corresponding author for this work

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The Public–Private Partnership (PPP) model has significantly contributed to global infrastructure and public service provision. The evolution of the PPP model closely aligns with policy directives. China’s PPP policy evolution has included five stages: budding (1986–2000), fluctuating (2001–2008), steady (2009–2012), expanding (2013–2018), and stagnating (2019–present). This study em-ploys bibliometric analysis and co-word analysis to examine 407 policies enacted by the Chinese government from 1986 to 2018. By extracting policy text keywords at various stages and constructing a co-word network matrix, this study delineates the distinctive characteristics of Chinese PPP policies across different epochs. It can be found that critical areas such as “government credit”, “contract spirit”, and “power supervision” are still underappreciated. The challenges confronting China’s PPP model are multi-faceted, stemming from policy gaps that have led to substantial project difficulties. Although the government proposed a new mechanism for franchising in 2023, the new mechanism is only for new PPP projects, and the difficulties of existing PPP projects have not been solved. This study advocates for enhancements in project bankability, regulatory clarity, institutional environment improvement, contract spirit defense, and the development of the PPP-REITs model to address these issues
Original languageEnglish
Article number1160
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2024

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