Economic reform

This photo taken on 13 July 2022, shows a housing complex under construction in Dongguan, in China's southern Guangdong province. (Jade Gao/AFP)

China’s overreliance on land finance could lead to its downfall

Retired economist Zeng Yongchang shares his views on China’s land finance policies — while quick and efficient, land finance is unsustainable, as evidenced by the widening inequality, intensifying social conflicts and dire economic situation.
Pedestrians in the Pudong's Lujiazui Financial District in Shanghai, China, on 10 October 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Large population no longer an asset to China's long-term growth

Chinese academic Han Heyuan notes that while China is claiming that its economic growth outlook remains healthy, the signs are there that changes to its population would also mean changes to its economic growth. Other factors such as dependence on overseas markets would also come into play.
A farmer picks ears of rice left over by a paddy harvester as the region experiences a drought outside Jiujiang city, Jiangxi province, China, 27 August 2022. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Chinese netizens debate: Should China abandon the market economy for a ‘people-oriented’ economy?

Chinese agricultural economist Wen Tiejun has landed in hot water after proposing the concept of a “people-oriented” economy. Critics believe that this is moving away from China’s reform and opening up, while others see the benefits towards common prosperity. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan tells us more about the maelstrom of controversy ahead of the 20th Party Congress.
Customers dine near a giant screen broadcasting news footage of Chinese President Xi Jinping attending a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan, at a restaurant in Beijing, China, 16 September 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

[Party and the man] Xi Jinping faces biggest challenges in decades

While Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to secure a third term at the 20th Party Congress, Loro Horta recalls the saying that one should “be careful what you wish for”. The road ahead in his third term looks to be fraught with challenges, both domestically and externally. This is the first in a series of four articles on President Xi Jinping and the road ahead.
Visitors are seen silhouetted against a Chinese Communist Party flag displayed at the Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, China, 3 September 2022. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

China's far-left narratives are leading the country into a dead end

Commentator Lew Mon-hung notes that recent public opinion in China has been advocating a closed-door policy, sharply diverting away from the national policy of reform and opening up taken in 1978. Will China change course and reverse its decades-long process?
A woman holds US dollar banknotes in this illustration taken 30 May 2022. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)

Quit the dollar: Can Asia build its own digital currency and digital payment infrastructure?

Calls for de-dollarisation have increased since the financial sanctions of the Ukraine war and the very real threat of the US dollar being weaponised. In this context, academic Pei Sai Fan explains why conditions are ripe for China and Asia to offer innovative alternatives, such as developing regional digital currency cooperation in the payment and settlement of regional trade and investment, and expediting the development of new cross-border digital payment infrastructure in Asia known as multi-CBDC platform projects.
An electronic ticker displays stock figures in Pudong's Lujiazui Financial District in Shanghai, China, on 7 February 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Japanese academic: China’s economy pushing forward with neoliberal reforms

Japanese academic Kai Kajitani doubts that the Chinese government's emphasis on common prosperity last year had the aim of implementing radical redistributive policies. Instead, he sees it as a “vaccine”, in the sense of a precautionary measure against widening disparities caused by the essentially neoliberal growth-focused strategy that Beijing is consistently advancing.
A man wearing a protective mask is seen inside the Shanghai Stock Exchange building at the Pudong financial district in Shanghai, China, 28 February 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Digitalisation: How China’s smaller investment banks could compete with big foreign players

The recent accelerated opening up of China’s capital market has presented a challenge to investment banks in China, which may have seen their role marginalised or bypassed by major foreign players who have international experience and are highly capitalised and better managed. Academics Pei Sai Fan and Peng Chang suggest how investment banks in China can compete and stay relevant.
People wave red flags during the filming of a Communist Party of China propaganda video in an upscale shopping district in the Sanlitun area in Beijing, China, 19 October 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Uniting China under Xi Jinping to build a modern socialist country: CPC to pass new 'historical resolution' at sixth plenum

At the sixth plenary session of the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee which begins today, the CPC is expected to consider the “Resolution of the CPC Central Committee on the Major Achievements of the Party’s Centennial Struggle”, the third of its kind in the party’s history. Rather than dwelling on the errors or lessons of history, the resolution is expected to reaffirm the party’s achievements and point the way ahead for the next 30 years.