Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, March 09, 2012

The state of the Chinese state

China's premier offers an assessment of the economy and the future.

In China’s Annual Assessment, Wen Is Optimistic
Prime Minister Wen Jiabao opened the annual meeting of China’s handpicked legislature... with a markedly upbeat assessment of the state of the nation, saying that threats posed by bad local government debt and soaring real estate prices were under control, the economy was robust and that “the people’s well-being is improving.”…

The government will focus in its final year on raising ordinary people’s incomes and rebalancing the national economy to be driven less by investment and exports and more by consumer demand, he indicated.

Mr. Wen’s annual report is the most substantive event of every opening session of the National People’s Congress... a meeting whose agenda has long been predetermined by the leadership. In it, he said that the slowdown in China’s growth is coupled with the beginning of a structural transformation toward a consumer-based economy, a change long advocated by economic experts…

It [remains] to be seen whether the government would be able to deliver on its pledge to shift economic growth to consumer demand. Promises to rebalance the economy have been a staple of Mr. Wen’s earlier addresses but many of the structural changes crucial to that goal have been hamstrung by internal political resistance…

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