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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The Party v Big Business

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Graham Perry
Graham Perry
Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer.

Is the fraught relationship between the Party and Big Business in China today capable of a win-win solution? A Beijing based consultancy, Plenum, sees a way forward. The Party will support Ant and Alibaba on condition that Ant/Alibaba serve the national interest.

The Party acknowledges that new financial technologies have improved efficiency and promoted well being but financial risks have also been heightened and the Party has concerns about instability.

For long term stability and economic progress, there has to be a balance between initiative and control. The Party does not want to stifle greater prosperity – more prosperity and more stability is its policy goal. But Ant + Alibaba and those following in their wake have to recognise two key issues – first, irresponsible risk is gambling and the Party cannot gamble with the prosperity of the people. Second, Big Business cannot be allowed to challenge the leading role of the Party. Big Business will bow and the Party will stay in charge. China is flexible but within clear political goals.


The West knows it has a fight on its hands. The USSR rose and fell. China is rising and, by all measures of growth + development, is continuing to rise.

Some in the West want to squash China – eg Trump (and Biden, too, but with less aggression)
Others in the West – incl Merkel/Macron, Japan+Australia- want to work with China but in order to control China.

One of the anti-China strategies is to give the impression that China is aggressive and expansionist. That will pass as China’s actions come to be viewed differently. The fall back position is that China oppresses its people – exploits them, punishes them etc. But the Chinese have “Never Had It So Good” – 140m tourists leave China and 140m return. 500m lifted out of poverty.

The new line of attack will be “Chinese Racism” against the Uyghurs – and “genocide, forced labour and female sterilisation”. Things are going on in Xinjiang and they need explanation but the issue is security and not race. China is opposed – root +branch – to separatism and terrorism. That is at the heart of the Uyghurs issue.

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