The ‘1’ in this rising buzz-term refers to a collective goal; the ‘N’ a multitude of discrete policy measures. The ideal is for a whole-of-government approach to achieve the goal by carrying out the disparate policies. The phrase is invoked when there are substantial obstacles in the way of a coherent whole-of-government approach. Carbon neutrality, the term’s prime exemplar today, reveals Beijing struggling to bring together a unified effort in the face of obstinate policy silos at all levels. SOE reform is another area in which a 1+N approach is often discussed.