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18th Party Congress

Crossing the river by feeling the stones: democracy’s advance in China

Written by Yu Keping.

To say “democracy is a good thing” means that democracy can benefit the people. Yet if democracy is to benefit the people, a precondition is that social order must be maintained and hardship shouldn’t burden them. If democracy causes unrest, the people will lose hope, corruption will go unchecked. Under these circumstances, who would still wish for democracy?

Those who are against democracy often use this possibility to frighten their audience. The truth is that there is much evidence to show that the advancement of democracy will not necessarily produce disorder. Just the opposite: over the long term, it is only democracy and the rule of law that will provide for the long-lasting peaceful rule of the nation.

Direction

The China dream is about supporting the great revival of the Chinese nation. This revival includes many things, but a high level of democracy and the rule of law are an indispensable part of the vision.

The movement towards democracy everywhere is a political trend that cannot be reversed. China is no exception. Sun Yat-sen once said:

Worldwide trends are powerful. Going with them will bring success, going against them will bring disaster.

The main global trend he referred to was nations becoming independent, countries growing wealthy and strong, and their people wanting democracy. Today, when we speak of political civilisation, we mainly refer to democracy and the rule of law.

Democracy is the lifeblood of our republic. The central meaning of “The People’s Republic of China” is that the people are the masters and make the key decisions. The 16th Party Congress emphasised that intra-party democracy is the lifeblood of the party; the 17th Party Congress emphasised that the people’s democracy is the lifeblood of socialism. It is no longer a matter of whether or not one likes democracy: democracy is a trend that cannot be blocked.

The political development of socialism with Chinese characteristics is in fact the organic unification of three things:

… the leadership of the party, the role of the people as masters and decision makers; and the ruling of the nation in accordance with the law.

The sovereign people are at the heart of these three components. The goal is to enable “the people to be the masters”. In the final analysis, the “leadership of the party” and “the rule of law” serve to ensure that the people are the masters.

The 18th Party Congress emphasised the same point: the people must indeed remain the masters. The continual advancement of democracy and the rule of law is the historical responsibility of those in the Communist Party. This is our correct direction.

Timing

The delay of political democratic reforms in China will breed a host of problems. If there are no breakthroughs in the reform of key policy areas, then illegal corruption may turn into legitimised special privileges.

The achievement of democracy depends on real-world conditions. It needs to be linked to economic and cultural realities and the actual foundations of society. As we discovered when “running towards communism”, rushing ourselves will not work; it will bring disastrous consequences.

But moving too slowly in matters of democratic political reform will also not work; the problem of corruption that we hate to the bone won’t be solved. The fact that corruption, until this day, hasn’t been effectively controlled is linked directly to the slow pace of reforms, as are such dilemmas as publishing the property holdings of officials and dealing with declining public trust in government.

Identifying the proper timing of political reforms is the responsibility of politicians, who need to have great wisdom and be willing to take action. Of these qualities, willingness to take action and a sense of responsibility are most important.

Route

To deal with its problems, China, as a great power, must draw up a clear roadmap for political reforms.

I have always believed there are three routes from which to choose: the first is a transition from intra-party democracy to social democracy. The 16th, 17th and 18th Party Congresses have consistently emphasised this point. Democratic development needs to choose a pathway that is most efficient and exacts the lowest toll.

The second pathway is a transfer from grassroots democracy to upper-level democracy. Grassroots democracy is directly aimed at the common people, to bring them direct benefits.

In political life, the ideal situation is that the people trust all levels of government. In reality, China is the exact opposite of America: American citizens have a very low level of trust in the federal government.

We (in China) have high levels of trust in the central government, but our trust in base-level government tends to be lower. “If the base level is not solid, the ground will shake and the mountains will sway.” We need to pay attention to this possibility.

The third pathway involves a shift towards greater political competition. Democracy requires competition: without competition, how are we to elect the most outstanding individuals?

Our democracy will naturally be one with Chinese characteristics. But democracy cannot be separated from elections and competition. Consultative democracy is very important, but consultation should not exclude elections.

Methods

Democratic development in China requires achieving a balance among six policy areas:

1 We want democracy and we also want the rule of law. Democracy and the rule of law are two sides of the same coin. Any politician who speaks of democracy cannot avoid discussing the rule of law, looking to the experience of the West, or to the experience of our nation, China.

2 We want deliberation and we also want elections. Chinese democracy, to a great degree, is in fact deliberative in nature; deliberation is part of our historical traditions. Elections, on the other hand, are the product of the modern world. Democracy is naturally inseparable from elections: the two need to be combined.

3) We want freedom and we want equality. These are basic values of democratic governance. In the past, we have over-emphasised equality. Since the reforms began, freedom has been emphasised, to the point where equality and liberty are in great tension.

4) We want efficiency and we want justice. These are two indispensable basic values. In the early stages of the reforms, the issue of efficiency was more salient, but now the issue of justice becomes central.

5) We want participation and we want order. Political scientist Samuel Huntington once said that the greatest challenge for political modernisation is to manage the relationship between public participation and political stability. As the interests of different social groups become more diverse, the desire of citizens for participation becomes more intense by the day. We need more open channels for political participation. Without legal channels, citizens will certainly resort to irregular, or even illegal channels, and social unrest will result. Democratic participation then becomes problematic.

6) We want a balance between individual rights and public rights. Rights belong to the individual, and the legal rights of citizens are guaranteed by the constitution. But we also need public rights, because our nation and society are a community.

Strategy

China is facing many reform challenges, and we need to get a firm grip on the most important of them. We must discover those breakthrough reform points that enable us to “move the entire body by pulling one strand of hair”. The restraint of power through intra-party democracy is among these most important breakthrough points.

There needs to be better overall planning; put in terms of mainstream political thinking, “scientific development” is needed. This means that economic development needs to be combined with political development, social development and cultural development. There need to be upper-level designs and reasonable plans based on facts.

What is also needed is an institution responsible for co-ordinating different interests, especially at the level of the central government. Governmental reform should be matched with Party reform.

There also needs to be continuous testing and expansion of reforms, so that we “cross the river by feeling the stones”. Many reforms that have been effective have suffered from discontinuity. The problem is that when politicians leave office their policies often lapse, or are not institutionalised.

To overcome this weakness, efforts need to be made to achieve advances in areas of greater strategic importance. We speak much about supervision, but too little about restraints. We speak even less of restraints on leaders at all levels of the Party.

Everyone fears that advancing democracy will cause a loss of order and will bring social unrest. Everyone meanwhile hopes that by strengthening democracy we can maintain social stability.

However, as I see it, it is only through the deepening of reforms of our political system, and through the genuine advancement of democracy and the rule of law, that we will be able to provide for the long-lasting peaceful rule of our nation, enabling democracy to benefit the people.

Yu Keping is the Chair of Politics and Professor and Dean at the School of Government at Peking University. This article was first published on The Conversation and can be found here. Image credit: CC by tomasdev/Flickr

Get the Party Right

By Zhengxu Wang.

China’s microblogosphere before and after the 18th party congress appeared markedly different. Before, loud voices demanded democracy, predicting that the Communist Party would drop its Mao Zedong Thought tenets and ridiculing the party’s opaque power politics in light of the recent US election.

But the day the new leadership was unveiled, microblogs seemed filled with genuine expressions of satisfaction and excitement. Netizens appeared pleased by the new line-up, thankful that Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang had been chosen to lead the nation, and impressed by Xi’s approachable image. They also respected Hu Jintao’s decision to retire completely.

This is a reminder that, like it or not, the party still enjoys a fairly high level of public support. Yes, discontent is widespread because of local government failures and abuses, and demand for political change and democracy is rising, but the general public remains relatively confident in the party’s ability to drive the nation forward.

A key factor explaining the party’s continuing ability to rule lies in its institutions. This is not a loosely organised party that only works towards obtaining people’s political donations and votes at election time. The elaborate body of party institutions governs recruitment, indoctrination, performance evaluation and profiling, promotion, cadre transfer, leadership selection, deliberation, decision making, discipline and other aspects of party life.

Party cells, for example, exist in every workplace, organising members to study the party’s ideological and policy lines regularly and intensively. This unifies thinking among party members and ensures that policies set at the top are effectively transmitted to and understood by those on the ground.

The party congress itself represents one of the most important of these institutions, serving two main purposes: to unify the party in terms of policy thinking and direction, and to rejuvenate the top bodies of leadership.

Although the party congress is held for only one week every five years, work has actually been going on through the party rank and file for more than 18 months beforehand. Preparation of the political report, for example, involves countless rounds of consultation and deliberation.

Prior to the party congress, provincial- and city-level congresses are held, setting policy directions for their respective localities and replacing the leadership office corps there. Tens of thousands of officials are assessed, promoted, appointed or reappointed, transferred, replaced or retired, in accordance with elaborate rules and procedures.

So what the outside world saw at the 18th party congress in Beijing last week was only the tip of a gigantic iceberg. Hu’s political report to the congress might have been seen as boring because it featured nothing new. But that was exactly the point: a consensus on policy and ideological lines had already been achieved prior to the event.

How the new Politburo and its Standing Committee were selected attracted more attention among the general public. Speculation beforehand was high.

But a review of the party institutions showed that there was never room for big surprises in the selection of new members. The elaborate system of cadre promotion meant that potential candidates for the vacant seats were obvious even before the final deal was struck.

This time, for the five vacant seats on the Standing Committee, just seven or eight candidates could claim to have had a realistic chance. Thus, contrary to speculation about the “daunting task” of selecting the members, it was just a matter of picking five out of the seven candidates.

Despite the long process of deliberation and horse trading that started last year, it seemed the eventual choices were made quite easily: they were based simply on relative length of service in the higher-ranking offices.

Among the five new members of the Standing Committee, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng and Liu Yunshan had served two terms in the Politburo. The other two, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli had each been on the Politburo for just one term. But Wang had already served one term at a deputy state-level position (as a vice- premier) and Zhang, seen as the weakest of the five, had also been on the Central Committee for two terms.

In contrast, the two hopefuls who lost out, Li Yuanchao and Wang Yang, had weaker records. Although both had been on the Politburo for a term, neither had equal or longer service records on the Central Committee than Zhang.

To emphasise the institutional effect, the very fact that all these candidates had made it to such a high level indicated they are more or less equally competent and have very similar political beliefs.

Really, it’s useless to hope that one may be a reformist or a liberal; they are all of the same mould. It would have made little difference whoever among the seven got the five seats, although we may hope differently.

Nonetheless, institutional deficiencies still haunt the party. A lack of effective anti-corruption institutions means graft is widespread in the party, and succession politics has been marred by a lack of transparency and predictability, together with a heavy influence of the old guard.

Too many party elders were included in the congress’ formal institutions, such as its preparatory committee and presidium, and their views were given too much weight. That certainly tilted the congress more towards stability and conservatism than towards change and liberalism.

Yet, Hu’s full retirement can be viewed as a big service to the party as it will greatly diminish the old guard’s role in China’s leadership politics. Indeed, if retired leaders are not included in the next congress’ formal institutions and do not participate in personnel and policy deliberations, the party will probably have a better future.

This piece was first published in South China Morning Post on 20 November, titled “Communist Party’s well-planned route to successful rule”

Zhengxu Wang is Deputy Director of the China Policy Institute.

Opinions expressed in the CPI blog do not represent the views of the China Policy Institute or the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham. They are the personal views of the bloggers/authors

The Last Party Congress?

by Gordon G. Chang.

The 18th Communist Party Congress is now in the history books.  Will it be the last?

For many observers, the People’s Republic looks secure.  Yet after a troubled year—and an especially disappointing Party meeting this week—we should not be so sure.

Xi Jinping and the other six members of the newly constituted Politburo Standing Committee face many challenges at the moment.  All of them will test the new leaders, but there is one they can never overcome: a lack of legitimacy.

Simply stated, they were chosen out of the view of the Chinese people.  And to make matters worse, they also lack credibility.  Why?  One man, the 86-year-old Jiang Zemin, was hugely influential in crafting the makeup of the Standing Committee.  As a result, so-called conservatives now occupy at least four and maybe as many as six seats on the seven-member select group, dashing widespread hopes for reform.  “The backlash against Jiang Zemin will be overwhelming,” predicts noted China watcher Cheng Li of the Brookings Institution.  “The public resentment will be very strong.” (link of this source)

And resentment will probably get worse.  For three decades, the primary basis of the legitimacy of the Communist Party has been the continual delivery of prosperity.  Yet China’s economy is stumbling.  It is not growing at the 7.4% rate that Beijing claims.  Electricity production statistics—historically the best indicator of Chinese economic activity—manufacturing surveys, and price indexes point to an economy growing in the low single digits, perhaps as low as one or two percent.

And this is not just a cyclical downturn.  The principal conditions that gave rise to China’s extraordinary boom—9.9% annual growth for three decades—no longer exist.  The country is no longer reforming, the international environment is not benign, and the “demographic dividend” has turned into a bust.  So the economy has entered into a new “supercycle,” except this time the direction of the trend is down.

In this context, the new Standing Committee assignments are downright mysterious.  The last-ranked member, Zhang Gaoli, is tipped to get the economics portfolio and eventually become executive vice premier.  If so, the prospects for reform look bleak.  If Zhang does not get this portfolio, it could go to another conservative, the No. 3-ranked Zhang Dejiang, a North Korea-trained economist.  “If anyone represents the old SOE industrial model, it’s Zhang,” says Beijing-based Robert Blohm to the Washington-insider Nelson Report.

The person who should be named executive vice premier is Wang Qishan, the famed economics troubleshooter.  Mr. Wang, however, is taking over the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection as the 6th-ranked member and becomes the country’s top anti-corruption official.  “This is going to be a huge waste of his strength in dealing with economic, financial matters, and foreign affairs,” noted Bo Zhiyue of the National University of Singapore (link of this source).

Some analysts believe Xi Jinping will tackle the economy with gusto, but that’s unlikely given the lineup of his fellow Standing Committee members and the rise of entrenched economic interests.  And even if General Secretary Xi pushes forward change, one has to wonder how effective he can be.  Political reform is difficult to envision in today’s Beijing, as Hu Jintao’s 18th Congress work report made clear.

There is growing recognition that the economy has gone just about as far as it can within the existing political framework.  If this perception is correct, then no political reform equals no long-term economic growth.

And we can all guess what no long-term growth means for an organization that has to prove its right to rule every day.

Gordon G. Chang is the author of The Coming Collapse of China and a columnist at Forbes.com.  Follow him on Twitter @GordonGChang (http://twitter.com/GordonGChang).

Opinions expressed in the CPI blog do not represent the views of the China Policy Institute or the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham. They are the personal views of the bloggers/authors.

Question Marks and Shoes to Fall for China’s Leadership Transition

by Don Keyser.

We normally take it to be axiomatic that a new leadership “selected by” a Chinese Communist Party congress does not set a clearly defined direction for the future so much as it affirms — and provides visible evidence of- the temporary resolution of complex deal-making behind the curtain.

While struggle at the highest level is typically muted, indeed often invisible, in the run-up to the partycongress, intimations of personal, factional and institutional lines of cleavage usually manifest themselves all too quickly in the wake of the predictably “victorious” closing of the “fully successful” gathering. In Hegelian terms – thesis, antithesis, synthesis– selection of a new leadership lineup attests to power realities in the current slice of time but will also carry the seeds of coming tensions and conflicts.

China scholar Andy Nathan offered almost 40 years ago a succinct summation of this phenomenon in a China Quarterly article (“A Factionalism Model of CCP Politics,” CQ 53, Jan 1973): “No faction will be able to achieve overwhelmingly superior power … one faction may for the moment enjoy somewhat greater power than rival factions, but this power will not be so great that the victorious faction is capable of expunging its rival and assuring permanent dominance.”

It has been a while since Nathan wrote that. Politics play out today on a markedly different canvas: internecine factional strife is less “ideological” and more along functional/regional/institutional lines; “harmony” – especially since June 4, 1989 — is held aloft as the highest intra-party principle; and murky power alliances are often best understood in terms of explicit or tacit arrangements involving access to assured financial rewards.

But, precisely because the underlying system in 2012 remains one lacking in transparency, without firmly established checks and balances, and still subject to decisive top-down pressures and manipulation (even or especially by those no longer holding formal position), Nathan’s analysis remains relevant today.

Xi Jinping for now emerges as the big “winner” from the conclave: Hu Jintao yielded each of his positions, including the military commission chairmanship, and ostensibly retires in name and in fact. Even so, the new leadership is shadowed by question marks, and by shoes that either failed to drop or that fell in odd places. For example:

  • Wang Qishan as CDIC chair– was one of the few “surprises” as measured against the flood of well-informed “insider” prognostications found in Hong Kong media and a host of Chinese-language websites. One line of early speculation is that Wang drew the thankless job of inspecting and imposing discipline upon the senior party hierarchy because, lacking children, he could be trusted to take seriously his mandate to probe wherever the trail might lead.That seems improbable. A more plausible explanation, perhaps, is that Wang, as a card-carrying member of the “princeling” camp, as son-in-law of the late Yao Yilin, could be trusted to “understand” the special circumstances of Chinese leaders and their extended families.Alternatively, one could speculate that Wang drew this assignment because the more plausible designee, Zhang Dejiang, also a “princeling” and trouble-shooter extraordinaire who moved in to clean house in Chongqing in the wake of the Bo Xilai affair, was not fully trusted by his peers to hold the sensitive CDIC portfolio.
  • Zhang Dejiang as putative executive vice premier– is also surprising if that pans out. Wang Qishan had been thought the odds-on choice to assume that portfolio, and indeed had been thought a possible last-minute selection to replace Li Keqiang as premier.Did Wang Qishan suffer from the same sin of perceived hubris/excessive ambition/unseemly “campaigning” that not only played into Bo Xilai’s fall from grace but also factored into the failure to promote Wang Yang and Li Yuanchao to the Politburo Standing Committee? Was Wang Qishan deemed too inclined to promote institutional reform – against the new consensus – whereas the more “conservative” Zhang Dejiang, educated at Kim Il-sung University, considered safer? Was pushing Wang Qishan off to the side the pound of flesh extracted by the outgoing Hu Jintao in order to protect his own protégé Li Keqiang from marginalization in the new lineup?
  • Dai Bingguo’s replacement as Politburo Member responsible for foreign affairs– seems to be Wang Huning, a close associate of Hu Jintao but a person without hands-on experience in foreign affairs. In any case, the persons most frequently named as contenders to assume that position as State Councilor and Politburo member failed to get the Politburo slot: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, CCP/CC International Department Director Wang Jiarui, Taiwan Affairs Office head Wang Yi, Hong Kong and Macau Affairs head Wang Guangya, or even Foreign Ministry Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun.

There is surely a tale to be told, but one that may not begin to emerge until the new State Councilor replacing Dai is identified. From the U.S. perspective, both Chinese heads of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue have moved on – Wang Qishan to the P/SC and Dai Bingguo to presumed retirement next March – with succession to the very unclear.

Stay tuned, therefore.

Don Keyser is a non-resident Senior Fellow of the China Policy Institute, University of Nottingham.

Opinions expressed in the CPI blog do not represent the views of the China Policy Institute or the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham. They are the personal views of the bloggers/authors.

The New Leadership Line-up Favours Tested and Pragmatic Officials

by Zhengxu Wang.

It’s official now. The new Politburo and its Standing Committee are out. Besides Xi Jiping and Li Keqiang, the Standing Committee includes another five men (in their ranking order): Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan, Zhang Gaoli.

On the surface, this line-up shows seniority is prioritized over other criteria. The five new members are all more senior than those potential selectees who eventually did not make it. Zhang, Yu, and Liu have all served two terms in the Politburo, while Wang has served one term in the Politburo plus one term as a vice premier.

Zhang Gaoli, while having served only one term in the Politburo, has been on the Central Committee as a full member for two terms. The other two contenders, Li Yuanchao and Wang Yang, have only served one term as full members of the Central Committee.

So, at least the Party maintained a consistent rule in making the choice this time. An argument can be made that applying this rule has led to the exclusion of younger, more reformist, and more enterprising officials, such as Li Yuanchao and Wang Yang.

But a deeper examination of this line-up shows that in governing a complex society and economy like China, hard-gained experience and pragmatism will be more critical than campaign fanfares and slogans.

All of the five new members, with the exception of Liu Yunshan, have had long careers in very challenging posts. Zhang Dejiang, for example, served as the Party Secretary of Zhejiang and Guangdong, China’s two economic powerhouse provinces. He has served one term as the vice premier in charge of industrial policy, and was called to take over Chongqing at a time when mismanagement of the municipality could jeopardize the whole succession process of the Party.

Zhang Gaoli ran Shenzhen City for many years. Several officials who ran Shenzhen had fumbled over corruption or other misbehaviour. One previous mayor of Shenzhen was even given a life sentence. But Zhang emerged as capable and clean, without making any serious mistake, and was moved to be in charge of Shandong Province, and then later Tianjin. In Tianjin his record has been well noted, as the city became a new centre of economic boom for the country.

The same could be argued for Wang Qishan and to a lesser extent Yu Zhengsheng. The latter has received very positive assessments by residents in Hubei and Shanghai, where his last two posts have been. In fact, he would have been promoted much earlier had his career not been affected by a family scandal earlier that involved his brother.

By contrast, those who tend to generate loud campaigning messages are often deemed as inexperienced and too ambitious.

Therefore, although the Party’s deliberation and horse-trading seems to discriminate against those openly enterprising and risk taking officials, it does seem to reward those who are more tested, seasoned, and pragmatic managers of state and economic affairs.

Zhengxu Wang is Deputy Director of China Policy Institute.

Opinions expressed in the CPI blog do not represent the views of the China Policy Institute or the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham. They are the personal views of the bloggers/authors

The Chinese economy: Impossible to rebalance?

by Michele Geraci.

In the opening speech of the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China, President Hu Jin Tao announced that “On the basis of making China’s development much more balanced, coordinated and sustainable, we should double our 2010 GDP and per capita income for both urban and rural residents”  He also mentioned that income disparity should also be reduced. All of these goals are to be achieved by 2020.

While this may sound like a positive statement, I am afraid it indicates no improvements from the current situation:

For a start, during the previous decade (2000-2010), personal income for both rural and urban residents has grown by more than double:  urban residents’ income has grown from RMB 6,300 to RMB 19,000, or about 11.5% per year. Rural residents’ income has grown from RMB 2,250 to RMB 6000, or 10% per year. Therefore, the new target effectively says “personal income growth will slow down in the future”.

Second, if both rural and urban resident incomes are expected to growth at the same rate (both will double), then it does not do any good to reduce income disparities between people those who live in cities and those who live in the countryside. Admittedly, during the past decade, the urban-rural income gap has, grown, from a low of, roughly,  2.7x in 2000, to a high of 3.2 in 2010. Hence, trying to keep this ratio constant in the future appears like some sort of improvement. However, it should also be noted that much of the urban-rural gap growth has occurred during the first half of last decade (2000-2004) and since then, income disparity has remained pretty much flat. Therefore, the 2020 target looks more like maintaining the 2005 status quo for over 15 years.  Most importantly, there is not targeted gap reduction at all.

Thirdly, the thorniest issue of all, the rebalancing of the overall economy: in order to rebalance the economy, personal income must grow faster than GDP; however the 2020 target only calls for equal growth rates for both GDP and personal income. Looking at the GDP from the expenditure approach (GDP=investments + Consumption + Exports), rebalancing the economy means, inter alia, to lower the aggregate saving rate, increase the consumption as a proportion of GDP and decrease the weight of investments.  Now, the only way to achieve increasing consumption is to allow personal income to grow faster than GDP, this is because a) Chinese people don’t save as much as people believe and b) even if they have some savings, they will not use those funds to purchase goods: they will only spend more if their income grows. To make things more difficult, the richer people become, the less they will spend as a proportion of their earnings, as expected. Hence the “marginal consumption benefit from increased income” tends to go down. In other words, in order to rebalance consumption through increased income, not only personal income must grow faster than GDP, but must also grow “much” faster. None of this is in the plan.

Finally, we haven’t even touched on the issue of whether the announced targets are actually achievable or not and how does China plan to find the capital to do that.

Michele Geraci is the Head of China Research for the Global Policy Institute as well as Senior Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou. He is also visiting Assistant Professor of Finance at Nottingham University, Ningbo.

Opinions expressed in the CPI blog do not represent the views of the China Policy Institute or the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham. They are the personal views of the bloggers/authors.

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