In Xi’s China, the Business of Business Is State-Controlled
“Business is the most important element in the economy,” Premier Xi Jinping, the head of the People’s Republic of China’s ruling party, said a year ago in his first state-of-the-union address.
“We are building a high-quality socialist economy built on a new path of opening up,” Xi said, in a speech that also described his economic policies as “comprehensive and balanced” and one that will have a “broad and holistic impact” on the global economy.
It was a major address, at least for the Chinese media, that described China’s economy as being a “high-quality socialist economy.” In Xi’s view, the economy would be a “low-input, high-output” one and would be led by the state, in an effort to be an “economic pillar” that would not only be a “key driver” for global economic growth but also a great source of employment.
Xi’s speech also made a commitment related to China’s growing state-owned enterprises, which are now bigger than most other state-owned units worldwide on a percentage basis, with $2.6 trillion under their belt and expanding at a steady clip. These companies, known as “jintsu” (新股), are also likely to account for more than half of the nation’s economic output over the next few decades.
The government has also been taking steps to make the world’s biggest economy more globally competitive. In November, Xi announced the decision to launch an ambitious plan to open the country to foreign investment, a plan that also includes reforming China’s industrial policy and strengthening its financial and taxation system.
Nowhere has the reform of China’s economy been more obvious than in land and property. The government’s efforts to modernize the property market