GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
The key aim of Chinese domestic policy is best summed up in Two Words – Prosperity + Stability. This has been a constant theme since the end of the Cultural Revolution – a much under-estimated episode in the short history of the Peoples Republic of China. You can look in vain for specific guidance on the building of Socialism in China, and that is because China is in Uncharted Waters. No country, not even the USSR, has ever reached the stage in economic development that China has now encountered.
The 1848 Communist Manifesto was written before Socialism had ever been established in any Country. Lenin’s State and Revolution focused on the challenges facing the infant USSR in 1917. China is blazing a new path and following the end of power of the Gang of Four China needed, more than anything, economic development. A ten year diet (1966-1976) of Extreme Left Wing Politics had really damaged the claim of the Party to build a better society that benefitted all.
Deng Hsiaoping took charge, changed direction, discouraged high octane political campaigns and, in its place, set about the task of giving people a much improved standard of living. China is not there yet – it has a long way to go but life is much better than ever before and in part that is due to the Party’s controversial embrace of Capitalism and Billionaires.
But the Billionaires have to know their place. They are an essential weapon in the fight for higher living standards but Billionaires are Capitalists and some Capitalists, but not all Capitalists, promote wealth aggregation + practice market manipulation. They break the law. Last week China’s Regulators imposed a record $1.2 bn fine on Didi for data breaches on China’s ride-hailing giant, The penalty was the third in a series of major moves by the government to rein in China’s high-flying internet sector which has amassed sweeping influence over Chinese society + broadly matched penalties paid out by Alibaba and Meituan.