Commentary: China does not really have a campaign for “common prosperity”

After all, global financiers are in love with the outsized profits of Chinese tech companies; any government intervention that threatens to wipe out such bargains is sensationalized to geopolitical proportions.


Much of the hype about “common prosperity” therefore has nothing to do with the redistribution policy in China.

This, however, may reflect a search for narratives that streamline the Chinese government’s regulatory actions against some of its large publicly traded companies.

Perhaps the force most responsible for lifting hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens out of poverty is globalization, which has also reduced global inequalities but exacerbated inequalities in some advanced economies.

The discontent resulting from the “China shock” – the economic impact of rising Chinese exports on the West – has led to a political backlash in the United States.

There is a broad bipartisan agreement that China’s economic rise poses a threat to America. However, in the heat of this sentiment, it is recognized that the well-being of 1.4 billion Chinese may also depend on the economic strength of China.

In reality, China’s middle and poor classes want exactly the same things people in wealthy countries like the United States and Canada want: cheaper housing and child care, a more equitable distribution of educational resources and support. for the unemployed, the sick and the elderly.

Yet such Chinese desires are viewed with suspicion in the West. A public demand for such policies is often presented as a challenge for Chinese autocrats than as a deserving demand for progress.

Xi’s egalitarian credentials are much weaker than the West claims. But if China’s poor have hope for a better future, they have no one else to turn to.

Wei Cui is a professor of law at the University of British Columbia. This comment first appearance in The Conversation.

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