July 7, 2016
Expectations for market oriented reforms were running high after the CCP’s 3rd plenum in 2013. But three years on Barry Naughton of the University of California, San Diego, is disappointed: Reform plans have come to nothing; economic problems got worse; the centralization of power has led to paralysis among bureaucrats. Xi Jinping is “political down to his fingernails” but not an economic thinker, says Naughton: “Xi is attached to the long term objective of reform but has only the weakest of attachments to the practical measures that need to be taken to get there.” Now the leadership could read the Brexit vote as another indication that global free markets and institutions are unreliable and unattractive. That’s Barry Naughton in the new Merics Experts podcast.