Skip to main content

Once Again, China Proves Neoliberals Wrong

A few days ago everyone talked about China's stock market collapse. "Xi Jinping has run into the one thing in China he can't control", wrote news website Quartz, implying that the all-powerful Communist Party finally had to acknowledge that it couldn't rein in the "free market". No sooner had the Chinese government stepped in to save the stock market than Western media dismissed Beijing's policies, predicting they would not work. "China markets plunge as government measures fail", wrote Yahoo News. These are only two examples of what the South China Morning Post called "Western media's callous delight at China's stock market crash". According to The Telegraph, China's stock market crash would cause a "more worrying financial crisis" than the one happening in Greece.

But, as has often been the case over the past four decades, the West's neoliberal-minded analysts have failed to understand the strength of China's economic system. Due to their own bias, they are constantly intent on proving why the "free market" is always more efficient than the regulated market. "[T]he Communist Party," preaches The Economist, "powerful though it may be, cannot indefinitely bend markets to its will. Chinese leaders should heed that lesson and get on with the challenges of liberalising their economy. A relapse towards statism will not just set China back. It also will not work."

Despite many neoliberals' desire to see China collapse so that their theories may be proved right, Beijing's measures have had the desired effect: they averted an economic crisis on a larger scale. Western media's criticism of the government's intervention was premature.

Analysts have been announcing the collapse of China for years now. Rather than being based on cold facts, such prophesies are entirely ideological. Those who dislike the Chinese Communist Party or believe in the superiority of neoliberal capitalism and Western democracy simply refuse to acknowledge that a one-party state with a regulated market economy can be so successful. This success upsets and confuses their entire 'Weltanschauung'. But instead of rethinking their economic models, they switch to the systematic denial of alternative development strategies. Similarly, the experiences of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and of the Western world itself prior to the 1970s, have been ignored or censored.    


Shanghai Stock Exchange (source:"Shanghaistockexchange" by Heurik via Wikimedia Commons)
Of course, this doesn't mean one should ignore the weaknesses and problems of  the Chinese economy. No system is perfect, and whoever promises to build a 'new Jerusalem' is doomed to fail. But it is bizarre how neoliberal-minded analysts are so keen on emphasizing everything that is wrong with regulated, state-led economies, while playing down the flaws of neoliberal economics, as if neoliberal policies had not caused stagnating or falling median incomes, deindustrialisation, growing inequality, underemployment, low growth and disastrous economic crises. 



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Window Trick of Las Vegas Hotels

When I lived in Hong Kong I often passed by a residential apartment complex commonly known as the " monster building ".  " Interior of the Yick Cheong Building November 2016 " by  Nick-D  is licensed under  CC BY-SA 4.0 . _____

Living in Taiwan: Seven Reasons Why It's Good to Be Here

Chinese New Year can be a pretty boring time for a foreigner. All of my friends were celebrating with their families, and since I have no family here, nor have I a girlfriend whose family I could join, I had nothing special to do. Shops and cafes were closed - apart from big chains like McDonald's or Starbucks, which were overcrowded anyway. So I had a lot of time to think. On Saturday evening I went out to buy my dinner. While I was walking around, I heard the voices of the people inside their homes, the sounds of their New Year celebrations. Then I suddenly asked myself: "What on earth are you doing here? Why are you still in Taiwan?"  Before I came to Taiwan, some Taiwanese friends of mine had recommended me their country, highly prasing it and going so far as to say that Taiwan is a "paradise for foreigners" (bear in mind that when I say foreigners I mean 'Westerners').  "It's easy for foreigners to find a job," t

Is China's MINISO Copying Japan's MUJI, UNIQLO and Daiso?

Over the past few years Japanese retailers such as UNIQLO and MUJI have conquered foreign markets, opening shops in cities such as Paris, Berlin or New York and becoming household names in several countries. But the success of their business model seems to have inspired people with dubious intentions. As the website Daliulian recently showed, a new chain called MINISO, which claims to be a Japanese company selling ‘100% Japanese products’, seems to be nothing more than a knock-off of UNIQLO, MUJI and Daiso, copying their logos, names and even the layout of their stores. The company’s webpage proudly announces – in terrible English – that “ MINISO is a fast fashion designer brand of Japan. Headquartered in Tokyo Japan, Japanese young designer Miyake Jyunya is founder as well as the chief designer of MINISO, a pioneer in global 'Fashion & Casual Superior Products' field. ” According to the company’s homepage, MINISO advocates the philosophy of a simple,

Macau: Gambling, Corruption, Prostitution, and Fake Worlds

As I mentioned in my previous post , Macau has different faces and identities: there is the old Macau, full of colonial buildings and in which the pace of life seems to resemble a relaxed Mediterranean town rather than a bustling, hectic Chinese city, such as Hong Kong or Shanghai. On the other hand, there is the Macau of gambling, of gigantic hotel and casino resorts, and of prostitution. These two Macaus seem to be spatially separated from each other, with an intact colonial city centre and nice outskirts with small alleys on the one side, and bombastic, modern buildings on the other.  The Galaxy - one of the huge casino and hotel resorts The Importance of Gambling for Macau's Economy Dubbed the 'Monte Carlo of the East', Macau has often been portrayed as the gambling capital of China. Media reporting on Macau tend present pictures of the city's glistening, apparently luxurious skyline. But a visit in Macau suffices to realize that it is fa

Trip to Tainan

Tainan Train Station Last weekend I made a one day trip to the Southern Taiwanese city of Tainan (Chinese: 臺南, pinyin: Táinán), the former capital and one of the most important centres of culture, history and architecture of the island. This blog post is also intended as a special thank to Grace, a Taiwanese friend who was so kind to show me around, and very patient, too. Since Tainan doesn't have an extensive public transport net, Grace picked me up at the train station with her motorcycle, a vehicle that, along with cars, is regarded by locals as indispensable for living comfortably in Tainan. To my great embarrassment, though, I had to admit that I cannot ride a motorcycle. That's why we had to take busses to move around. It was the first time she ever took a bus in Tainan. And now I know why: busses come more or less every half an hour, and service stops early in the evening. No wonder Tainanese snob public transport. Grace had no idea about the routes and about whe