Over the last year, China has undertaken a broad effort to reshape its social and economic institutions to an extent unseen since the reform and opening up era began. The architecture which allowed Beijing to thrive is being fundamentally reviewed in order to address the imbalances created by the export-oriented and consumption-poor development model.
The top-down approach characterising Xi Jinping’s governance has made the current regulatory overhaul look much like a crackdown. Yet, focusing exclusively on the endeavour to impose (or reimpose) central control risks obscuring the complex nature and the underlying rationale for many of the regulatory reforms recently implemented by Chinese authorities.
This dossier addresses the issue of whether China is heading for a new Red Era. What are the socio-political and economic motivations of the numerous overhauls taking place across China? Is Beijing’s leadership charting a new course with more socialist-leaning tendencies, or is it just course-correcting? Is Chinese society heeding Xi’s call to revamp Chinese socialism?