: Why ‘Common Prosperity’ Has China’s Billionaires Running for Cover #WorldNEWS In a sign of how far China’s leaders have drifted from their revolutionary roots, the biggest shock gripping
Why ‘Common Prosperity’ Has China’s Billionaires Running for Cover #WorldNEWS
In a sign of how far China’s leaders have drifted from their revolutionary roots, the biggest shock gripping the country today is that the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) might actually be socialist after all.
The shakeup centers on the phrase common prosperity. It was first introduced by revolutionary leader Mao Zedong but has now been taken up as the defining mantra of a new era as imagined by current strongman President Xi Jinping.
In an Aug. 17 speech to the CCP’s Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs—his first since the secretive, annual summer leadership conclave at the seaside town of Beidaihe—Xi declared that “Common prosperity is an essential requirement of socialism and a key feature of Chinese-style modernization. ” He used the phrase 15 times in total in his address and it’s become a refrain ever since.
According to the official Peoples Daily, the goal is to build a more egalitarian China by expanding the proportion of middle-income groups, increasing the incomes of low-income groups, reasonably adjusting high incomes [and] banning illegal incomes. Nobody doubts that the CCP would also like to leverage common prosperity to reassert its authority over Chinas high-fliers.
“These billionaires and tech companies are very risky to the CCP because they are seen as an alternative form of social and political power,” says David Moser, associate dean of the Yenching Academy at Peking University.
VCG/VCG via Getty Images) An investor watches an electric screen displaying stock price figures at a stock exchange hall on February 18, 2021 in Shanghai, China.
In response, skittish investors have started dumping their stock. Up to trillion has been wiped off the valuation of Chinese firms since February, after regulators began targeting electronic payment providers, real estate developers, private tuition companies (a vast, 0 billion industry in education-hungry China) and the gaming sector. The latter—a giant and highly lucrative market generating billion in earnings last year—is now reeling from new directives banning children from playing more than three hours of online games a week.
In a bid to ease concerns, the Peoples Daily ran an editorial Wednesday, saying that the regulatory moves were not designed to hurt business and the status of the private sector remained the same. But theres no denying that the biggest socio-economic change, since reformist leader Deng Xiaoping unleashed market forces in the late 1970s, is now underway. In words that have since become infamous, Deng kicked off the country’s export-driven resurgence with the exhortation: “Let some people get rich first.
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