Christopher Balding retraces Xi Jinpings rise in the 1980s and the conclusions Xi must have drawn from the collapse of the USSR:
Everything the USSR did in the 1980s and 1990 was wrong. Do the complete opposite. To put it another way: whatever Gorbachev would do, do and do the complete opposite.
In Balding’s view this explains current policies:
If we take avoiding a system of governance collapse as the driving motivation for what Xi is going rather than seeking to address continually rising debt levels or differences in public and private productivity, his behavior makes sense. Foreign analysts talking about the importance of private enterprise to the Chinese market are not incorrect in their presentation of facts, they are wrong in understanding what problem Chinese leadership believes it is solving and how to solve it.