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We shall be unable to turn natural advantage
to success unless we make use of local guides.
-The Art of War, Sun Zi

At the Start of its fifth Decade of (re-)Development, where is China Heading?

At the Start of its fifth Decade of (re-)Development, where is China Heading?
January 2020

China follows its own path

If one bears in mind these two world-defining elements of China’s history (a different civilization which was the superpower of its known world only 200 years ago), China’s trajectory becomes much easier to interpret: China simply intends to recover the position it always held. In its President’s own words: ‘realizing the great renewal of the Chinese nation is the greatest dream for the Chinese nation in modern history”. (If you think it sounds very similar to a shorter slogan from another President, you may not be the only one!) To give China the position its leaders (and its population) strongly believe it should have, they trust in using the unique characteristics of China’s successful development of the past decades. That is essentially a mix of state and private economy under an unchallenged top-down system: “Government, the military, society and schools, north, south, east and west – the party leads them all”. After all, China has been managed by a top-down administration for 2 millennia and, in fairness, the Communist Party’s track record in managing the country’s development over the past four decades is extraordinary. And, on the other hand, the debacle of the Great Recession of 2008 justifies doubting, at least, the validity of the US form of western socio-economic management. And the Chinese population is very much convinced of its government’s ability; foreign-run surveys (the Chinese government does not conduct polls) show what everyone living in China realizes: the Chinese government is supported by its population by a large majority (70 to 80% depending on estimates). This gives it all latitude and legitimacy to continue China’s development, in the Chinese way.

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