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In China’s market-oriented economic reform, state power has not been replaced by market principles but has been reinvigorated through strategic selection of the operational scope and direction of market principles. On the part of each social group, efforts are made to influence the intervention process of state power after reckoning whether adoption or exclusion of market principles is advantageous in its economic domain. In China, where a sort of “partial marketization” has occurred, class relations are centered on state-dependent adoption or exclusion of market principles. The social realities in post-Mao China invite a state-centered explanation of class relations that refuses to regard class relations as the competition and conflict among social classes separated from state power but instead emphasizes the “access to state power” of each social class as the crucial determinant of class order.