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Monday, October 2, 2023

China’s Xi calls for patience as Communist Party tries to reverse economic slump

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BEIJING, Aug 17 (AP): Chinese leader Xi Jinping has called for patience in a speech released as the
ruling Communist Party tries to reverse a deepening economic slump and said Western countries are
“increasingly in trouble” because of their materialism and “spiritual poverty.”
Xi’s speech was published by Qiushi, the party’s top theoretical journal, hours after data on Tuesday
showed consumer and factory activity weakened further in July despite official promises to support
struggling entrepreneurs. The government skipped giving an update on a politically sensitive spike in
unemployment among young people.
Xi, the country’s most powerful leader in decades, called for China to “build a socialist ideology with
strong cohesion” and to focus on long-term goals of improving education, health care and food
supplies for China’s 1.4 billion people instead of only pursuing short-term material wealth.
Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for restoring the ruling party’s role as an economic and
social leader and has tightened control over business and society since taking power in 2012.
Some changes come at a rising cost as successful Chinese companies are pressured to divert money
into political initiatives including processor chip development. The party tightened control over tech
industries by launching data security and anti-monopoly crackdowns that wiped out billions of
dollars of their stock market value.
“We must maintain historic patience and insist on making steady, step-by-step progress,” Xi said in
the speech. Qiushi said it was delivered in February in the southwestern city of Chongqing. It is
common for Qiushi journal to publish speeches months after they are delivered.
Economic growth slid to 0.8 per cent in the three months ending in June compared with the previous
month, down from 2.2 per cent in January-March. That is equivalent to a 3.2 per cent annual rate,
which would be among China’s weakest in decades.
A survey in June found unemployment among urban workers aged 16 to 24 spiked to a record 21.3
per cent. The statistics bureau said this week it would withhold updates while it refined its
The government also has expanded anti-spying rules and tightened controls on information, leaving
foreign and private companies uncertain about what activities might be allowed.
Xi stressed “common prosperity,” a 1950s party slogan he has revived. He called for narrowing
China’s yawning wealth gap between a tiny elite and the poor majority and to “regulate the healthy
development of capital” but announced no new initiatives.
“Common prosperity for all people” is an “essential feature of Chinese-style modernisation and
distinguishes it from Western modernisation,” Xi said.
Western-style modernisation “pursues the maximisation of capital interests instead of serving the
interests of the vast majority of people,” Xi said.
“Today, Western countries are increasingly in trouble,” Xi said. “They cannot curb the greedy nature
of capital and cannot solve chronic diseases such as materialism and spiritual poverty”.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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