context: Severe headwinds impacting the economy are ruffling the political sphere. PRC scholar Wang Wen offers a blend of reassurance and tough-minded prescriptions to keep the 'China Dream' alive in the face of COVID, Russia's war in Ukraine and US decoupling.
Wang Wen 王文 Chongyang Financial Institute dean, wrote in the 27 August edition of Aisixiang, stating that the current situation facing the PRC is 'unprecedented'. He enumerates three specific areas of concern
- the PRC economy is growing more slowly than the US economy for the first time in over 40 years
- there are signs of a large-scale transfer of production chains and supply chains away from the PRC
- the US is taking a more aggressive stance towards Beijing, integrating the political consensus of the West against the 'China threat' and taking all-round action
Wang acknowledges that some of these developments are objective and not completely negative. For example, the transfer of production chains could reflect the growing competitiveness of Chinese domestic brands. However, he argues that the overall trend is negative and that the PRC needs to take steps to address it.
He warns that the Chinese people should not be complacent about the country's future. He cites the example of the West, which took over a century to become a global power. He argues that the PRC's rise will also be a long and difficult process.
Finally, the scholar calls for a new round of strategic self-examination. He argues that the country needs to be more realistic about the challenges it faces and to develop a more long-term and comprehensive strategy for its rise.