China's Crony Capitalism

China's Crony Capitalism

Minxin Pei is one of the rare species in the field of Sinology: he actually has the temerity to take on the beast that is China ! As a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace, in the United States, Minxin Pei has been saying for a number of years that China is "decaying," potentially disintegrating from within, rather than growing, as most Sinologists have affirmed. In this sense, Minxin Pei deserves to be heard on three counts. One, unlike Gordon Chang, he is not saying that the Chinese Communist Party and China will collapse together like a house of cards. Two, Minxin Pei is also not arguing that the international community should be ready for China's "slow landing." China being China, a complex entity of cross cleavages, it can self destruct in any number of ways, especially when economic growth has slowed by half to 5-6 per cent a year. Three, China indeed has a corrupt political and economic system; what he called "crony capitalism."

In "Crony Capitalism: The Dynamics of Regime Decay," Minxin Pei has merely squared the proverbial peg. Since collusion and corruption are happening at a massive scale, a fact admitted by President Xi Jinping himself, Minxin Pei argued that no amount of anti corruption drive would suffice to weed the problem out; especially when it is conducted by President Xi Jinping to consolidate his own power base, with the goal to eliminate his political opponents and their ilk.

Essentially what Minxin Pei is saying is this: When the factions of President Xi are powerful and entrenched at the top, they too will latch on to the instruments of the state. It is a matter of time before this will happen again. The solution to prevent the repeat of this dynamic is to create elaborate checks-and-balances and an auditor general's office separate from from the Prime Minister. China should also have an international legal system that cannot be bought and held captive by the corrupt juries and judges.