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Beijing Univ. professor criticizes Xi's ‘common wealth’

Beijing Univ. professor criticizes Xi's ‘common wealth’

Posted September. 06, 2021 07:37,   

Updated September. 06, 2021 07:37


The initiative for "common wealth” proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping has been met with direct criticism by an economics professor at Beijing University, who argues that excessive government intervention can turn "common wealth” into “common poverty.” As opposing views of the government's policy directions have been subject to nationwide inspection, monitoring and regulation, the professor's argument is gathering public attention.  

Economics Professor Zhang Weiying at Beijing University was quoted as saying in an article posted on a website of CE50 – a private academic organization for the public good, “If we lose faith in market forces and rely on frequent government intervention, it will lead to common poverty,” according to the South China Morning Post's report on Saturday. “If entrepreneurs have no motivation to create wealth, the government will have no money to transfer – the charity will become a river without headwaters,” he said in his critical article. Professor Zhang emphasized that a planned economic system tried to provide more welfare benefits to the poor but rather the result turned out to increase a level of poverty across society, adding that a market-oriented reform should happen as fast as possible so that a greater level of fairness can be shared further.

Mr. Zhang has worked at Beijing University since 1994. College-educated in Xian, he obtained a master's and doctorate degree at Oxford University in Britain. Back in 2008, he founded the National School of Development - a major think tank of Beijing University. He stirred controversy by stating in October 2018 that the main contributor to China’s 40 years’ rapid growth is not the Chinese model of development but a combination of marketization, entrepreneurship and technological accumulation of 300 years of the West.

As of now, Zhang's critical article is deleted both on the website of CE50 and his personal WeChat account. The article is prohibited from being sent to other users on WeChat.

Ki-Yong Kim kky@donga.com