mandag 6. september 2021

China created more billionaires than the U.S. Now it is cracking down.

Communist China has relentlessly pursued economic growth for decades, creating more billionaires than the U.S. and lifting 800 million people out of poverty but leaving 600 million more to live on $150 a month. Now, President Xi Jinping is planning what some experts say would be a dramatic about-face, trying to restructure Chinese society by cracking down on the country's newly minted super-rich and redistributing wealth more evenly among the population of 1.4 billion.

The drive involves plans to "regulate excessively high incomes" and "encourage high-income people and enterprises to return more to society," according to a readout of Xi's comments at a meeting of the Chinese Communist Party by the state-run news agency Xinhua. While his slogan of "common prosperity" was hardly new among Chinese leaders, Xi's speech last month was the starkest example of his apparent plan for a reshaped society.

Some experts say that, for the party, a self-preservation rationale is behind the goal of better income equality. For years the Communist Party has staked its legitimacy on growth that has outpaced that of any other major economy; now that it is slowing, it may feel it has to offer a new promise: equality.