I am extremely grateful to Mr Roger Strange, and also to Dr Limin Wang for their unfailing support and friendship, which began before my PhD study. With their warm support, I fortunately won two scholarships, an Overseas Research Student Award from the UK Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals and a K.C. Wong Education Foundation Scholarship. Without them, I would not have had enough financial resources to enable me pursue my favourite research topics. Their support did not end there. During my studies, they provided precise guidance in my scientific investigations, and the freedom to choose my research topics. This was priceless, allowing me to fly in an unlimited space, but I fully understand the extra burden this freedom put upon them as they had to squeeze their valuable time to comment upon the topics I had selected. I have yet to meet persons so well read in science, who are then able to apply their knowledge with such precise expertise to all aspects of my study. It has been a real privilege and pleasure to work together over the past years. Dr Limin Wang left for a post in the United States in 1999, and her leaving was a pity, but Roger has continued his committed support alone.
I would also like to thank Dr Athar Hussain of the London School of Economics for his support, and guidance based upon his profound understanding of the Chinese economy and the institutional differences between it and the Western economies. He helped me choose my topics, formulate my arguments, and reach my conclusions.
I am grateful for the generous financial support from the Overseas Research Student Award Scheme and from the K.C. Wong Education Foundation.