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China Brief: Xi Jinping is a techno-utopian


I attended a webinar hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Xi Jinping’s new political framework. Jude Blanchette and Andrew Polk from the CSIS Freeman Chair in Chinese Studies presented their perspective on Xi Jinping’s governance model, which aims to make China a great socialist nation by 2035. It s This is a change from Deng Xiaoping’s goal of making China. in a moderately prosperous society and includes its common prosperity initiative.

For those interested in some of the ins and outs of macroeconomic policy, you can read the CSIS report, Chinese State Capitalism: Diagnosis and Prognosis. here.

Two key takeaways from the webinar are 1) Xi Jinping’s model is not an overhaul of Mao or Lenin, although both Mao and Lenin are important in understanding Xis’ rhetoric and perspective, and 2) Xi Jinping is a techno-utopian who seeks technological solutions to social problems.

In a previous article, I described how Xi Jinping’s speech on the centenary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) signaled old Marxist and Maoist ideals, such as identification with the working class and commitment to favor of socialism. Although Mao, Deng, and Xi all used the phrase common prosperity, Xis’ model is markedly different. Xi’s common prosperity is not about class struggle, but about fighting economic inequality.

Blanchette and Polks’ webinar described Xi’s common prosperity as a measure of social stability wrapped in a socialist package. China’s extreme inequality is a looming problem for the CCP’s goal of reforging China into a strong nation. According to the World Bank, China’s GDP stands at $ 14.7 trillion, second behind the United States at $ 20.9 trillion, and many analysts predict that China will overtake the United States in as the largest economy in terms of GDP. However, strong nations tend not to have extreme inequalities, especially high poverty rates. If we look at China’s GDP per capita, we see a slightly different story: China’s GDP per capita is $ 10,500 compared to the United States at $ 63,543. Even if you look at trade using GNI rather than GDP, the numbers are relatively similar according to at the World Bank.

Young workers expressed frustration with culture 996, in which employees work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week in flat. In addition, even though the CCP lifted its one-child policy, many Chinese youth could not have children even if they wanted to because of the prohibitive house prices and the cost of living in the areas. urban.

A Namewee pop song, starring Kimberly Chen, titled Fragile, has several open and covert attacks on the Chinese Communist Party, including the disparity between China’s wealthy elite and its working class. One of those reviews is around 2:24. The English translation is Carry cotton and collect your favorite honey (common prosperity), work hard (fight poverty). In the leek tree, mille is certainly beyond expectations.

The scene depicts Kimberly Chen in a bead tub, portraying the rich, while Namewee is in a building at work or in a field. Leeks are a Chinese reference to the working class. Mille is a reference to the fact that some Chinese live on $ 1,000 a month.

Xi Jinping is a techno-utopian

One of Xi Jinping’s basic assumptions is that governance and economic issues can be solved through technology. This techno-optimism guides Xis’ national goals. CSIS Blanchette points out that while Xi is ambiguous when talking about most topics, he is specific when talking about technology, and he talks about it often. Xi’s Fourteenth Five-Year Plan focused on three main ideas: national security, technology, and achieving self-sufficiency. Among the Chinas technological ambitions is the world supremacy in artificial intelligence. Xi sees AI, or machine learning algorithms, running on a large band of data, as the solution to everything from productivity to national security, which means data is powerful. But, in the CCP model, power belongs to the Party, so the Chinese private sector, including its big tech companies, had to be tamed and its resources redistributed so as to align with the Party’s goals.

While not specifically covered in the CSIS webinar, Xis’ techno-utopian assumptions are also at the root of the Chinese Communist Party’s dystopian surveillance state in which AI is the solution to stability. social. However, Xi’s over-reliance on technology can also be a weakness. Not all problems can be solved with technology, and sometimes the solutions can make things worse, you just have to ask Mark Zuckerberg.

You can also read …

Silicon Valley: From laid back hippies to top cops What happened? A political science teacher retraces the stages by which the naive hypotheses of the beginning of the Valley were transformed into a ban on the shadows, a ban outright, etc. It has turned out, according to political science professor Jon Aksonas, that social media is, far from liberating, as hoped, ideal for exercising authoritarian control. (Denyse O’Leary)

Will China’s massive tech industry crackdown stifle innovation? Part I: How will the Common Prosperity program actually play out in the private sector? Whether it’s its billionaire tech giants, online tutoring CEOs, or big-name celebrities, the CCP will not tolerate competition for power and influence. (Heather pointer)

Xi Jinping’s ruthless march towards “common prosperity”. Part II: The Roots of Xi Jinping’s Vision of “Common Prosperity” and Why He’s Making Changes in China’s Tech Sector Now. Controlling China’s biggest companies is seen as necessary if Xi is to protect the Chinese Communist Party from a fall like that of the Soviet Union.




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