Fears Xi Jinping Shows Off ‘Collective Prosperity’ In CCP Congress Speech, Suggesting Further Pullback From Economic Reforms

After Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech filled with words such as “common prosperity” and “struggle,” experts fear the Chinese Communist Party’s economic approach could send the country backward and cause more headaches for the global economy.

Mr Xi delivered the traditional “work report” as general secretary at the opening Sunday of the party’s 20th National Congress, which lasted a week.

China faces a once-in-a-generation economic challenge, and its decisions will significantly shape the lives of the country’s 1.4 billion residents.

Economists have warned that rolling back market-style reforms could stunt the country’s growth.

Professor Shi Heling of Monash University’s economics department said the Chinese government has “made a lot of mistakes with its economy over the past five years”.

“Instead of having a mechanism to correct mistakes, the mistakes of the past were glorified,” he said.

“From epidemic prevention policies to the idea that ‘state-owned enterprises are moving forward, the private sector is pulling back’ and the suppression of the tech industry and so on, I think this is all very wrong for the Chinese economy.”

He said China had given “massive subsidies to state-owned enterprises” that “had proved a dead end before China’s reform and opening up in the past,” adding that doing so provides little incentive for private companies to thrive and would lead to the China’s economic development is losing momentum.

“Now China is backing down… It’s missing the opportunity to become a global power.”

From economy to safety

Rows of qualified deputies sit behind a man standing on a red carpet.
Xi Jinping indicated that his government would maintain policies that would deepen the Communist Party’s control over the economy and society.(AP: Mark Schiefelbein)

Mr Xi – who is expected to serve a historic third term as general secretary during the congress – explained his plans to the meeting’s delegates.

“The next five years will be crucial,” Xi said.

He also repeatedly invoked his slogan of “the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”.

In his report, there was another tone shift from the last National Congress: Mr Xi used the terms “security” or “security” 89 times, up from 55 times in 2017, according to Reuters, while his use of the word “reform” fell to 48 from 68 listings five years ago.

“In the past, Chinese leaders based their legitimacy on their ability to drive economic growth,” said Alfred Wu, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

“As the economy slows, Xi is trying to shift the foundation of legitimacy from economic growth to security — so he can be the one to save and protect China.”

Zhiwu Chen – a professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong – said a key change was to focus on economic development and economic reform.

“From the 14th to the 19th Party Congress, economic development was explicitly mentioned as the party’s central mission every time, while this time it is not mentioned. Instead, the emphasis is on ‘complete’ and ‘all-rounded’ development,” he said. he.

What is bootstrap collective prosperity?

Xi Jinping CCP Speech Protectors
The 20th National Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China will take place at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.(AP Photos)

Mary Gallagher — director of the International Institute and professor of political science at the University of Michigan — emphasized Xi’s use of the terms “community prosperity” and “bootstrap.”

“It’s about hard work and fighting”, she wrote in a Twitter thread.

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