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China: a new era of economic anxiety
Material posted: Publication date: 22-03-2016
Really important this year, Chinese policy forum, which concluded yesterday a joint meeting of the national people's Congress and people's political consultative conference, a lot was said about the economy. And not without reason. After a spectacular fall on the Shanghai stock exchange in June last year the Chinese economy, ranked second in the world after the USA, hit the runway of the most powerful slowdown for a quarter of a century. "Inside the country become more visible the problems and risks that have accumulated over the years," said charge of the economy China's Premier Li Keqiang, speaking last Saturday before dark three thousand delegates gathered in the Great hall of the people. This time the Prime Minister departed from the traditional assurances that the economy will continue to develop powerful pace.

The authoritarian regime, has long been proud of the way he directs the socialist locomotive of the Chinese economy, embarrassed to acknowledge the fact of the economic downturn. But for a generation of Chinese people, educated by ranting about sustained and continuous economic growth, it's just terrible news.

One example of the manic attempts by Beijing to control the economy is the way it turns inflates the stock bubble, the mortgage. For several years, the government actively guides the investors on one market, then another. In the early 90s, many Chinese are accustomed to set aside money in reserve because of the absence of social security system preferred to invest in real estate, seeing it as a reliable form of investment. Famous "southern tour" of Deng Xiaoping in 1992, during which he strongly praised "economic development", spawned a nationwide "building fever" that lasted as long until the market was saturated, the construction has not stopped, and the proceeds from investments are not exhausted. By 2015, the securities market seemed to be more reliable and safer. It was supported by state leaders who saw in it, among other things, a convenient way to sell off the assets of indebted state-owned enterprises.

But what happened in that year burst of stock bubble reminded Chinese leaders that their power is not unlimited. First, when the market was panic, the government intervened, prohibiting state-owned companies to sell their shares and buying securities on hundreds of billions of dollars in an attempt to maintain and strengthen the market. Such responses they wanted to delay the chaos and stress, but it can hardly be called a reliable solution. Although the national people's Congress is seeking funds for treatment nedorogaya economy, there are signs that the bubble in the real estate market is inflated again, nurtured from measures of monetary stimulus and the weakening of the requirements of the state in the field of real estate.

When I in the beginning of this month was in Shanghai, potential buyers lined up front of agencies for the sale of real estate, and queues these tend to be entire blocks, impeding the flow of traffic. Official organ of the party news Agency Xinhua has started to warn about buying "panic", and the municipality of Shanghai in his microblog site Weibo has urged people to remain calm and sanity.

It just so happened that another microblog Weibo has become a flashpoint in the party campaign for the improvement of its image. When the magnate of real estate and an influential blogger with 37 million subscribers Ren Zhiqiang (Ren Zhiqiang) criticized the statement of XI Jinping that the line the media must always match the party line, his post was immediately removed, and the microblog was closed. Three years before Ren has publicly stated that the soaring property prices do not appear as a result of market fever, but are the result of government manipulation. "The way I see it, the government never even thought that he had inflated the bubble. If thought would not be such a mystery. It would not use controversial land prices to adjust our real estate market, — wrote the blogger. — The state's acting suspicious and dubious than the developers". Soon the censors removed this proposal from Weibo search results.

Speaking eight years ago at the Congress of people's representatives, the then head of the Chinese government Wen Jiabao (Wen Jiabao) noted that growth in China is "unstable, unbalanced, uncontrolled, and wasteful". This speech was met positively, but the lessons are not learned. At the Congress of people's representatives in this year there were calls to close inefficient steel mills and coal mines, to occupy empty houses in China's second-rate and third-rate cities, and provide more freedom of capital flows across the Chinese border. Meanwhile, the difference between official statistics and market representations has expanded to the size of the gap.

In Shanghai I talked to a young man on the subject of queues in the offices. He noticed that his hometown has embraced the frenzy: "Looking at the size of the queues, you might think that people are waiting for money bags". I asked him if he'd heard that closed the microblog Jen. He calmly took a drag on his cigarette and said, "don't you know? If someone's account is blocked today, so there are real news". Such derogatory statements and cynicism will likely cause much greater concern to the members of vsekitajsky meeting of national representatives, than the economic turmoil.

"There are no such difficulties that we fail to overcome, said Li Keqiang in his lengthy speech at the Congress of people's representatives, which was broadcast on national television. — China has a huge stamina, huge potential and great opportunities for future growth." That must be it. The party leadership above all puts social stability and will do everything possible to prevent a sharp rise in unemployment, which threatens the country. But since China has entered the era of maturity in all aspects of its development, there began to appear cracks, which are difficult to be addressed through public policy. In society increases the excitement, while such platforms as Weibo are trying to expose government fraud. At some point, when the Chinese people decide where the real news, the economy will become not only an important topic in conversations.

Zzaan Fan


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