President Xi Jinping sends blunt message to China’s private businesses

(Hong Kong — Sept. 27, 2020) President Xi Jinping sent a message to China’s private businesses: “You can make money, but only if you follow my rules.”

Earlier this month, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) published a set of atypical guidelines, directing members to “educate private businesspeople to weaponize their minds with [Xi’s] socialism ideology.”

According to this directive: “the private sector needs ‘politically sensible people,’ [who will] firmly listen to the party” and follow their rules. The message comes as the world’s second-largest economy continues its fragile recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and tussles with the United States over trade and the future of technology. 

Tsang, of the SOAS China Institute asserts that “Xi is not anti-private sector per se,” nevertheless, “he clearly puts the state sector ahead.” If private enterprises fail to adhere closely to the party’s leadership and direction, they can expect authorities to exert pressure, he added.

Due to Xi’s strategic tactics to tighten control of China and maintain the party’s domestic rule, tensions between the United States and China continue to escalate.

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