The Big Ideas

by Malcolm Riddell

‘Global investors shocked to have discovered that China is run by Communists.’

Bloomberg

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Matthew Brooker | Bloomberg
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August 5, 2021
‘Global investors shocked to have discovered that China is run by Communists.’
‘Global investors shocked to have discovered that China is run by Communists.’
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'The East is Red' - well, looks as if China is anyway.

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Matthew Brooker | Bloomberg

BIG IDEA | ‘Global investors are shocked to have discovered that China is run by Communists.’
‘The most lucid and logically coherent explanation also happens to be the simplest: Take China’s Communist Party at its word.’

‘Global investors are shocked to have discovered that China is run by Communists.’

  • ‘China’s leaders are making abundantly clear where they stand on the tension between private profits and social wellbeing.’

‘These sudden regulatory shifts have thrown asset managers across the world into a frenzy of effort to understand and explain how prospects for investors in the second-largest economy have changed.’

  • 'The most lucid and logically coherent explanation also happens to be the simplest: Take China’s Communist Party at its word.'

‘For decades, foreign investors have told themselves a comforting story.’

  • ‘China was no longer truly Communist, after late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping embraced markets in the late 1970s and kicked off the country’s spectacular economic rise.’
  • ‘The wealth and growth generated by capitalist techniques had converted the government and people.’
  • ‘While the ruling party continued to wrap itself in the rhetoric of Communism, its members knew they were paying lip service to a bankrupt ideology, or so the thinking ran.’

‘The era of such creative ambiguity is over.’

  • ‘With a true believer holding the reins of power, there can be no doubt that China’s rulers mean what they say.’

‘The distinction with true capitalist economies exists at a deeper, philosophical level.’

  • ‘Chinese Communist ideology declares that capitalism is a stage human society will pass through, to be replaced by socialism and ultimately communism.’
  • ‘This idea goes back to the writings of Karl Marx, who claimed to have discovered the universal laws governing human history.’

‘Having been relatively poor and backward prior to Deng’s “reform and opening up” era, the Communist Party decided it had been wrong to try to leap straight into the stage of communism, and needed to pass through capitalism first.’

  • ‘But, crucially, capitalism is still only a stage.’
  • ‘The party’s leaders are the architects of the future, there to look beyond this phase.’

‘Markets, viewed through this metaphysical lens, are mere tools to be deployed as needed by the shapers of history.’

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Malcolm Riddell
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'Are you tired of losing yet, America?'

As I write this, Taliban forces have entered Kabul and are reportedly occupying the Presidential Palace.
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Bloomberg

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'China Signals More Regulation for Businesses in Coming Years'

‘The State Council’s statement provides a guiding context to interpret current regulatory thrusts. The blueprint as an attempt by Chinese authorities to help investors understand the motives behind the regulatory push.’
8/15/2021

The Wall Street Journal

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George Soros
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'Xi’s Dictatorship Threatens the Chinese State'

‘Mr. Xi is determined to bring the creators of wealth under the control of the one-party state.’
8/15/2021

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Malcolm Riddell
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Don't Say Xi Jinping Didn't Warn You

‘Global investors are shocked to have discovered that China is run by Communists.’
8/5/2021

Bloomberg

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Matthew Brooker | Bloomberg
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‘Global investors shocked to have discovered that China is run by Communists.’

‘Global investors are shocked to have discovered that China is run by Communists.’
8/5/2021

Bloomberg

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'Shocked Investors Scour Xi’s Old Speeches to Find Next Target'

‘While China’s policy moves can feel ad hoc particularly to foreign investors, the changes are quite targeted on certain sectors.’
8/5/2021

The Wall Street Journal

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Greg Ip | The Wall Street Journal
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'China Wants Manufacturing—Not the Internet—to Lead the Economy'

‘Social media, e-commerce and other consumer internet companies are nice to have. But in his view national greatness doesn’t depend on having the world’s finest group chats or ride-sharing.’
8/5/2021

Bloomberg

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'China Plans to Exempt H.K. IPOs From Cybersecurity Reviews'

‘China plans to exempt companies going public in Hong Kong from first seeking the approval of the country’s cybersecurity regulator, removing one hurdle for businesses that list in the Asian financial hub instead of the U.S.’
7/18/2021

The Wall Street Journal

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The Editorial Board | The Wall Street Journal
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'Biden’s Warning on Hong Kong'

‘The pretense of Chinese and Hong Kong authorities is that their crackdown on the rule of law and dissent will have no effect on Hong Kong’s viability as an international center for trade and finance.’
7/18/2021

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Malcolm Riddell
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Why the U.S. Lacks Leverage over China

During the celebration of the Chinese Communist Party’s Centennial celebration, Mr. Xi stood in the same place on the balcony facing Tiananmen Square where Mao Zedong stood when he announced the founding of the PRC; Mr. Xi wore a gray Mao suit, among a sea of blue western suits; and he centered himself right above the portrait of Mao, who is similarly attired.
7/18/2021

Foreign Affairs

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Kurt Tong | Asia Group
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Hong Kong and the Limits of Decoupling

‘The United States’ inability to make China regret—much less reverse—its transgressions in Hong Kong suggests that financial separation, sanctions, and economic barriers are less reliable tools than many in Washington believe.’
7/18/2021

Nikkei Asia

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'I will aim for Mao's Status.'

‘There on the gate was Xi Jinping, Chinese president and party general secretary, in a gray Mao suit. Just below his feet was the portrait of Mao Zedong, also dressed in a gray Mao suit.’
7/18/2021

Financial Times

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'US warns companies of risk of doing business in Hong Kong'

“In the face of Beijing’s decisions over the past year that have stifled the democratic aspirations of people in Hong Kong, we are taking action,” said Antony Blinken, US secretary of state. “Today we send a clear message that the US resolutely stands with Hong Kongers.”
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Malcolm Riddell
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The Chinese Point of View

Here are a few of my thoughts on the importance of Wang Jisi’s ‘The Plot Against China.’ Yuen Yuen Ang’s ‘The Evolution of Chinese Corruption’ speaks for itself - but note especially how Mr. Xi's anti-corruption campaign could hurt China's economy. I have now lived long enough that when a friend complains about his or her spouse, I say to myself, ‘There are no doubt two sides to this story.’
7/4/2021

Foreign Affairs

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Wang Jisi | President of the Institute of International and Strategic Studies at Peking University
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'How Beijing Sees U.S.-China Relations'

‘In Chinese eyes, the most significant threat to China’s sovereignty and national security has long been U.S. interference in its internal affairs aimed at changing the country’s political system and undermining the CCP.’
7/4/2021

Foreign Affairs

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Yuen Yuen Ang | University of Michigan
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'How Corruption Powers China's Economy'

‘China has managed to sustain four decades of economic growth despite levels of corruption that even Xi has described as “grave” and “shocking.” Why does it seem to have bucked the trend?’
7/4/2021

Harvard Magazine

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Ed Steinfeld | Brown University
Tony Saich
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Harvard Kennedy School of Government
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'From Rebel to Ruler': Tony Saich on Chinese Communism at 100

‘At so many points during its century-long existence, the CCP appeared to be in its death throes, whether as a result of external attack or self-inflicted internal strife.’
7/1/2021