(CTN NEWS) – In a recent address, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has emphasized the importance of patience amidst ongoing efforts by the ruling Communist Party to address a deepening economic downturn.
Xi also pointed out the challenges faced by Western nations, attributing their struggles to excessive materialism and a state of “spiritual poverty.”
Xi’s speech was made public through Qiushi, the party’s foremost theoretical journal. This release coincided with the release of data indicating a further weakening of both consumer and factory activity in July.
These developments occurred despite official assurances to bolster support for struggling entrepreneurs.
Interestingly, the government refrained from providing an update on the politically sensitive issue of a notable increase in unemployment among young individuals.
Xi Jinping’s Vision: Cultivating Socialist Ideology and Long-Term Focus for China’s Future
Xi, wielding unprecedented power in the nation’s recent history, called for the cultivation of a robust socialist ideology in China.
He advocated for a renewed focus on long-term objectives, particularly the enhancement of education, healthcare, and food supplies for the country’s vast population of 1.4 billion, rather than exclusively chasing short-term material gains.
Since assuming leadership in 2012, Xi has consistently advocated for the restoration of the ruling party’s role as a pivotal economic and societal influencer.
Concurrently, he has tightened regulatory oversight over both the business sector and wider society. These measures, while striving for a grander goal, have brought about certain trade-offs.
Notably, prosperous Chinese enterprises have encountered pressure to redirect funds into political ventures, including the development of processor chip technology.
Furthermore, the party’s increased control over the technology industry has been evident through actions such as data security measures and anti-monopoly campaigns, resulting in substantial drops in the market value of tech companies, amounting to billions of dollars.
Xi Jinping’s Call for Patience and Steady Progress Amid Economic Challenges
“We must uphold our historical patience and remain committed to advancing steadily, one step at a time,” remarked Xi during his speech. The address, disclosed by Qiushi, was delivered in February within the southwestern city of Chongqing.
It is a customary practice for the Qiushi journal to release speeches several months after their delivery.
Economic expansion faltered, registering a mere 0.8% growth in the three-month period culminating in June, in contrast to the 2.2% achieved from January to March.
This translates to an annualized rate of 3.2%, a figure that stands as one of China’s most modest growth rates in decades.
An examination in June exposed a record-breaking 21.3% unemployment rate among urban workers aged 16 to 24. The statistics bureau has indicated its intention to temporarily withhold updates as it fine-tunes its measurement methodology.
The government’s current focus centers on mollifying apprehensive homebuyers and investors, particularly in the context of the heavily indebted real estate sector.
This concern was amplified when Country Garden, one of China’s major developers, defaulted on a bond payment and suspended trading of its bonds.
China’s Response to Economic Challenges and Emphasis on ‘Common Prosperity
In response, a government spokesperson stated on Tuesday that regulators are taking steps to manage debt and anticipate gradual resolution of associated risks.
Beijing has concurrently broadened the scope of anti-espionage regulations and intensified oversight on information flow, leaving foreign and private enterprises uncertain about the permissible scope of their activities.
Xi underscored the concept of “common prosperity,” a revival of a party slogan from the 1950s.
He urged for the reduction of China’s stark wealth disparity between a privileged minority and the broader disadvantaged population, while also advocating for the “regulated and sound development of capital.” Nonetheless, no fresh initiatives were unveiled.
Xi contended that “common prosperity for all people” constitutes an “intrinsic element of Chinese-style modernization,” distinguishing it from the Western approach.
He criticized Western-style modernization, noting that it prioritizes the maximization of capital interests at the expense of serving the needs of the majority.
In Xi’s words, “Today, Western nations are grappling with escalating challenges,” unable to rein in the insatiable nature of capital and grappling with enduring issues like materialism and spiritual impoverishment.”
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