Corint clarifies on China

Corint had taken the trouble to read my blog post and respond, since I had questioned the difference between their views and the mainstream foreign media views on China. I was not sure if they were too different.

This clarification shows that Corint’s views on what economic future awaits China, under the present leadership, is rather sharp and clearly different. It is not an incremental shift that we are witnessing. I am posting below their comments under my blog post. All emphasis mine.

Very grateful for such a critically engaged read from someone whose track record as an investor and thought leader inspires great admiration here over at CORINT! If we’re allowed just a brief clarification — the intended points behind the piece were:

1) That the general tone of most media coverage is to portray recent Xi-ist policies as catastrophic deviations from a more moderate political and economic path, as if it were preordained that China’s future lies somewhere other than a statist “hybrid” political economy — a future which we believe to be the most likely barring a major and unexpected political event affecting the composition of China’s current leadership.

2) By contrast, the sources offer a policy road-map which puts aside the entire premise of reneging/deviating/etc. Hence the articles emphasis on the quite explicitly stated rejection of capitalism and its “contradictions”; deep suspicion of private enterprise (most recent evidence: alleged friction between the CCP and Alibaba, and of course, the public censure of “reformist” business figure Ren Zhiqiang); and the belief that Western (so-called) institutions and norms are unsuitable for China and for the world.

Potshots definitely not intended, but the main thrust of the piece was to indicate that forward-looking analysis should do better than noting where Xi’s agenda deviates from a tacitly implied goal of decreasing state involvement in the economy and lives of China’s citizens. There is no such goal where Xi-ism is concerned. To the contrary, new evidence suggests that even the issue of what counts as appropriate economic performance for China may be the cause of a deepening divide between Xi and PM Li Keqiang, with Xi favoring control, military strength, and stability while putting other policy goals on the back burner.

Within China, one question being asked is whether Xi will make himself dictator.
We’ll take “sharpening”!

However, the aim is to shift the terms of the discussion toward a more informed perspective concerning how global leaders think as a complement to more realist political, economic, and military analysis, of which there is already a great deal of high quality work available (even if, it might be contended, the range of topics covered still tends toward the narrow, hence the global and theme-spotting approach of our weekly bulletin).

Thank you again for this invaluable and instructive assessment.

What they write here accords very well with the WSJ story that the government is asking economists, analysts, et al., to fall in line with official growth forecasts and not talk negatively about the economy, etc.

Xi warns the Party of ‘cabals and cliques’. Not all is well behind the wall.



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