GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
In 1976 China was at a low ebb. The Cultural Revolution had come to an end + the Gang of Four had been arrested. But the spirit of the nation had been sapped as the Left Policies of the Gang had reduced China to protracted internal strife. Schools + universities were closed; students had been denied at least 5 years of education. The cupboard was bare. Living standards either fell or saw no increase. Urgently the Party, less popular with the people because of the Left control of the organs of power, needed to regroup + focus on immediate objectives.
At this time Deng Hsiaoping emerged as the Leader + presided over a policy of modernisation that boosted the economy, led to China’s entry to WTO + to a position today where China will likely become the largest economic power in the world. Deng embraced the white cat + the black cat so long as they both caught the mice + created prosperity. In this way, China, embraced capitalism + socialism to achieve the much-needed improvement of living standards.
It was inevitable that the more enhanced role for Capitalists and Billionaires would bring positives + negatives. The people of China have “never had it so good” + the quality of life is much improved. But Capitalists, inevitably, seek to turn economic power into political power + to challenge the leading role of the Party. This is reflected in the decline + fall of Jack Ma + in the determination of the Party to avoid the “disorderly expansion of capital”.
Last Friday, the authorities arrested the former top Government official in Hangzhou, Zhou Jiangyong, It has emerged that a unit of the Alibaba-affiliated Ant Group bought two plots of land at a discount in Hangzhou after taking stakes in two mobile payment businesses owned by Zhou’s younger brother. Corruption remains the #1 enemy + China is ever alert to the need to control Capitalism and the Capitalists while allowing Capitalists, with their undoubted commercial skills, to contribute to national prosperity.
#360 ON 22 FEBRUARY 2022.