China’s integration into the world economy and the dismantling of her state administered industrial infrastructure does not necessarily imply that she will in future conform to Western capitalist market models. In this paper the writers examine the nature of the newly emerging economic order in China in terms of the ways in which transactions are organized, the property rights and the criteria for ownership, and the role of government in making the system work. The application of research findings to an analytical framework enunciated at the beginning of the paper helps to draw out the comparisons and contrasts with Western practice. The authors conclude that conventional Western economic analysis of the development process may need to be re-appraised. While it may be possible to derive a conceptual language from Western theory to apply to the Chinese case, the relationships between the concepts will be different.