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It’s wrong to say China is heading for socialism, because it never really abandoned it

7 17 219

An op-ed in Japanese publication Nikkei recently warned that “Xi’s leftward shift to a socialist China is for real”. It cites a sudden spree of policies in China put in place over the past year, including harsh regulatory crackdowns on big tech and the dismantling of the country’s private tutor industries, plus references to “common prosperity” by Xi in a recent address 15 times and a new announcement aiming to crack down on harsh working hours.

The article also mentions the purge of a prominent official in Zhejiang province, a key hub of China’s businesses and tech enterprises, on allegations of corruption. Of course, it is interpreted only as a ruthless power play, as opposed to a necessary crackdown on potential wrongdoing. Next year, China is hosting its prominent national party congress, an event of huge significance, and Xi is rapidly implementing his political vision in preparation for it.

The idea of course that China is shifting to socialism implies that in the past it abandoned it. This is a common interpretation given the opening up of its economy and embracing of market reforms. But is this a fair assessment?

In reality, it is misleading to say China is “returning” to socialism because it never actually turned its back on it. The idea of China being capitalist is a simplistic misinterpretation of what Beijing has been actually doing. Whilst it is true that the Xi era has come with a rekindling of ideology and a new emphasis on collectivism and the authority of the party, it is still ahistorical to assume the country ever truly left the path of socialism. This was a highly fanciful Western-centric........

© RT.com

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