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.
Keith Zhai, Lingling Wei and Jing Yang write in the Wall Street Journal about Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma.
They quote former Chinese premier Wen Jiabao with calling himself a “serious student” of Ma’s. Current president Xi Jinping seems to be everything but a fan.
The article suggests that Ma’s companies are under scrutiny because of the outspokenness of its founder. But then there is this:
There also were concerns at the central bank that Ant could become too big to rescue in a financial meltdown, according to people familiar with the matter.
By June 2020, Huabei’s credit outstanding accounted for nearly a fifth of China’s short-term household debt.
China expert Michael Schuman describing his disappointment with where China is headed:
Xi’s vision for “a community with a shared future,” as he calls it, is like a neighborhood where a man beats his wife every night, but anyone who tries to help her is “intervening in his internal affairs.” In order to show you are not “prejudiced,” you invite the guy over for pool parties, and smile as if nothing’s wrong. Maybe he’ll bring you a few beers. That’s how Xi defines “mutual respect.”
DER SPIEGEL correspondent Bernhard Zand:
Deep in Siberia, at the same latitude as Hamburg, China begins. It only comes to an end some 4,000 kilometers away, on the beaches of the tropical island Hainan. Both are places of great beauty.
In the north, the Heilongjiang, the Black Dragon river, winds silently eastward. It marks the border to Russia, where it is known as the Amur. The pine forests of the Taiga stretch out behind it.
In the south, the surf of the South China Sea gently rolls into Hainan’s Yalong Bay. Plane and palm trees line the coast and children frolic on the beach. Hainan is often called “the Hawaii of China.”
In between lies a country about the size of the United States, but with four times as many people – twice as many as in Europe, more than in Africa.
Before leaving mainland China for Hong Kong, Zand once again travels the vast country.
He wants to understand how Xi Jinping has shaped China in the past eight years. Eight years, in which Zand had been living in China, eight years that Xi Jinping has been president.
How Xi Jinping took control of China.