Xi’s Recipe

China's recently announced economic reforms are only one ingredient of a carefully crafted cocktail. The rest of President Xi Jinping's recipe for domestic stability comprises two parts popular social reforms – relaxation of the one-child policy and abolition of “reeducation through labor” – and one part political crackdown.

WASHINGTON, DC – China’s government is cracking down hard on Western journalists, threatening not to renew visas for reporters from the New York Times and Bloomberg in retaliation for their reporting on the corruption of senior Chinese officials. Times columnist Thomas Friedman recently penned an open letter to the Chinese government telling them that, because the top “cause of death of Chinese regimes in history is greed and corruption,” a free press is more likely to help than hurt.

Anyone who holds freedom of the press and freedom of expression to be universal human rights will agree with Friedman’s position. But, in China, politics – including the politics of rights – is always intertwined with economics.

Last month, President Xi Jinping announced a set of sweeping economic reforms at the Central Committee’s Third Plenum, setting forth his vision of “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” His 60-point plan included reforms of fiscal policy and the financial sector that would set market interest rates on loans and deposits, permit some private-investor participation in state-owned enterprises, increase the role of small and medium-size enterprises, loosen labor restrictions, and introduce property taxes to boost revenue for local authorities.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/thWGbQP;
  1. Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images

    The Summit of Climate Hopes

    Presidents, prime ministers, and policymakers gather in Paris today for the One Planet Summit. But with no senior US representative attending, is the 2015 Paris climate agreement still viable?

  2. Trump greets his supporters The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Populist Plutocracy and the Future of America

    • In the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump has consistently sold out the blue-collar, socially conservative whites who brought him to power, while pursuing policies to enrich his fellow plutocrats. 

    • Sooner or later, Trump's core supporters will wake up to this fact, so it is worth asking how far he might go to keep them on his side.
  3. Agents are bidding on at the auction of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

    The Man Who Didn’t Save the World

    A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," for which he spent $450.3 million. Had he given the money to the poor, as the subject of the painting instructed another rich man, he could have restored eyesight to nine million people, or enabled 13 million families to grow 50% more food.

  4.  An inside view of the 'AknRobotics' Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    Two Myths About Automation

    While many people believe that technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically, there is no evidence of either trend. In reality, total factor productivity, the best summary measure of the pace of technical change, has been stagnating since 2005 in the US and across the advanced-country world.

  5. A student shows a combo pictures of three dictators, Austrian born Hitler, Castro and Stalin with Viktor Orban Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

    The Hungarian Government’s Failed Campaign of Lies

    The Hungarian government has released the results of its "national consultation" on what it calls the "Soros Plan" to flood the country with Muslim migrants and refugees. But no such plan exists, only a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign to help a corrupt administration deflect attention from its failure to fulfill Hungarians’ aspirations.

  6. Project Syndicate

    DEBATE: Should the Eurozone Impose Fiscal Union?

    French President Emmanuel Macron wants European leaders to appoint a eurozone finance minister as a way to ensure the single currency's long-term viability. But would it work, and, more fundamentally, is it necessary?

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now