The present Chinese regime claims to represent a unique model, both in project – a socialist market economy – and in capacity – to lead China in a rapid and exceptional transition to affluence and power. In this lecture, social policy is used as a prism for state analysis. The provisions contained in the Chinese welfare state as it stands today and is evolving will be reviewed, up against the main theories of welfare state typologies. This evidence will then be used as a basis for the interpretation of the Chinese state. As manifested in social policy, a major component of public policy, is the Chinese state a normal state, a state among states, or can it claim uniqueness in its model in project and capacity?