The People's Republic of China is a unitary state. In the family-style unitary state, the administrative system of China was, in some Chinese scholars' words, a "chuizhi xitong" in which "a hierarchical administration was supposed to integrate central authority, local authorities and enterprises." Decentralization in China denoted the devolution of central control of administrative authority and economic resources to lower levels. It was employed not to reduce the coercive central-local relationship but primarily to encourage the lower levels of government to fulfill or surpass the ambitious goals set by the center. The decentralization in the early 1970s greatly changed the central-local relationship and gave local governments’ considerable control over their own resources. By the onset of the post-Mao reforms in the late 1970s, China had already experienced "liangxia liangshang"--two periods of "sending down"--in central-local relations. The outcome of the changing central-local relationship after the pre-reform decentralization may thus be conceptualized as "federalism without a federal constitution.".