Kong Dan: The Chinese Communist Party has Long led the Market Economy; It Needs to Be Good at Controlling capital

[Interesting article, especially the second half.  Lots of boring three thises, the five thats and seven thats in the first half.  Reminds me of what I read in the bad old days.  The numbers never really went away but they were a lot more of  them under Mao, and now the numbers have been coming back.  Different numbers though. Still easier to read than in Mao’s day with Party policy documents with paragraph long sentences and eight or more clauses.
I wonder if frustrations from leaders at the next level down about Xi abolishing term limits could make the role of capital issue a relatively safe issue to challenge Xi on.  Just wondering. ]

 

Kong Dan: The Chinese Communist Party has Long led the Market Economy; It Needs to Be Good at Controlling capital

Ideological Torch March 17

[Intro to the QQ public microblog account of Ideological Torch:]

This public account belongs to the National Cultural Security and Ideological Construction Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Chinese Historical Materialism Society and the Beijing Xifengtang jointly created the “Gathering Together Positive Forces and Spreading Good Ideology” official microblog. Our mission is to promote socialist ideology and promote our country’s mainstream values, safeguard our national security are our mission. We are committed to contributing to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation!

Editor’s Note: Socialism with Chinese characteristics emerged from over 90 years of practice of revolution, construction and reform, as well as the profound historical traditions of the Chinese nation. The Chinese idea is that “the people are what is most precious, society comes next, and the ruler is much less important.” Chinese people say that economy means “supporting the people from generation to generation”. Maintaining the people’s dominant position is the core value of socialism. The Communist Party’s purpose is to serve the people wholeheartedly. The essence of of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China. In a country as big as China, on the Communist Party is capable of maintaining national unity and social stability. Only the Communist Party can lead China down the socialist road. The leadership of the Party is a thread that runs through the entire socialist era.

Pay Close Attention to Important Documents From the Nineteenth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party

The report of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China put forward, for the first time, the concept of the “new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics.” The Central Economic Work Conference held at the end of last year stated that since the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, we have successfully handled overall economic development. The main ideological fruit of this practice is Xi Jinping’s new era of socialist economic thought with Chinese characteristics. At it core are the Seven Principles to Uphold:

  • Uphold the Party’s leadership over economic work,
  • Uphold development thinking that makes people central,
  • Uphold the principle of mastering and adjusting to the new economic situation,
  • Uphold the principle of handling well the relationship between the government and the market,
  • Uphold the principle of adjusting to the main contradictions and changes in our country’s economic development, improving macroeconomic adjustments, and reforms of the structures for economic supply.
  • Uphold the principle of new problem-oriented economic strategies,
  • Uphold correct work strategies and methods, seeking progress in stability and focusing on the bottom line.

This was another important document issued since the report of the Nineteenth Party Congress.

 Later, on January 30, when the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee held its third collective study session, Comrade Xi Jinping further elaborated on the concept of a “modern economic system” in the report of the 19th Party Congress and the Central Economic Work Conference. He pointed out: building a modern economic system is the strategic goal of China’s development, and it is also urgently needed in order to change China’s mode of China’s development by optimizing the structure of growth and transforming and increasing the impetus for growth. This needs to be discussed in depth. There are seven parts to building a modern economic system:

  • An industrial system of innovation-led and coordinated development,
  • A unified and open, competitive and orderly market system,
  • An efficiency-enhancing, fair-revenue income distribution system,
  • An advantaged and coordinated urban-rural development system.
  • A resource-saving and environment-friendly green development system,
  • A diverse, balanced, safe and efficient comprehensive open system that gives full play to the role of the market and improves the role of the government.
  • Addressing all the links, all the various levels and all the various fields of social and economic activities as a whole.

Understanding the Spirit of the “Three Consistents” of the Central Economic Work Conference

We should attach great importance to and seriously study the important speech delivered by General Secretary Xi at the Central Party School seminar of January 5. In this speech, Comrade Xi Jinping emphasized three “Consistents”:

  • We must consistently insist on socialism with Chinese characteristics must be consistent,
  • We must be consistent in adhering to the great task of building the Communist Party, and
  • We must be consistent in strengthening our sense of urgency and avoiding major hazards.

First of all, General Secretary Xi emphasized that socialism with Chinese characteristics did not fall from the sky. It is derived from the practice of 40 years of reform and opening up. China has been probing and making discoveries that have developed this concept ever since the founding of the People’s Republic of China 69 years ago. It arose from the constant probing and discoveries made by the Communist Party of China during its past 97 years. The historical exploration of the decline and the end of the history of the 5,000 years of Chinese history also contributed to its development.

Socialist ideas with Chinese characteristics are also inseparable from these five sources. General Secretary Xi reviewed the history of the rise and fall of China for thousands of years from a grand historical perspective, reviewed the histories of the Communist Party of Chinese Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and finally came to the historical task of leading the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Comrade Deng Xiaoping said that the persistence and improvement of socialism need continue for several generations, and perhaps for dozens of generations, and the hard work of dozens of generations. Dozens of generations comes to a thousand years. This is looking at history from a very broad perspective.

Socialism with Chinese characteristics emerged from the practice of more than 90 years of revolution, national construction and reform, as well as the profound historical traditions of the Chinese nation. The Chinese concept advocates that “the people are what is most precious, society comes second, and the ruler is not so important.” The Chinese say that the word economy means “sustaining the people from generation to generation.” Upholding the centrality of the people is the core value of socialism. The purpose of the Communist Party is to serve the people wholeheartedly. The essence of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China. Only the Communist Party can maintain the unity of the country and social stability. Only the Communist Party can lead China down the socialist road. Therefore, the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is the thread that runs throughout the socialist era.

General Secretary Xi also pointed out that our party is not only the ruling party, but also the revolutionary party, and a party that is constantly revolutionizing itself. We must consistently insist on the great task of building the Communist Party.

Finally, we need to cultivate a sense of urgency and avoid major hazards. General Secretary Xi cited a number of risks in many different areas. Regarding economic risks, first, the world economy is recovering slowly, protectionism is on the rise, and Sino-US economic and trade frictions will continue over the long-term. The United States is launching a “301 investigation” against China and is using sanctions against China. Second, the interaction between China’s domestic finance and international finance are becoming closer and more frequent. Since 2008, the overall debt level in the West has been high, and the leverage ratio has continued to rise. Now they are gradually moving away from their policy of unconventional quantitative easing. This will increase global asset flows and result in a new allocation of assets.

The risk of spillover effects from their domestic monetary and fiscal policies has intensified and so we must pay attention to international financial security. The third is the domestic debt problem. In the past few years, we have effectively reduced the risk by taking various measures. However, we must continue to issue warnings about risk in this areas; the risk of failure of small and medium-sized financial institutions has risen along with the possibility of bond defaults. Shadow banking is difficult to supervise, and the real estate market is tightly linked to the financial markets. Household debt is heavy there is a great deal of large hidden local hidden debt. Major changes are likely to occur. Fourth, China’s opening up to the outside world and the construction of the “Belt and Road” have affected relevant overseas strategic interests around the world. However, instability, uncertainty, and geopolitical changes in the world poses risks to our strategic interests.

General Secretary Xi’s speech on January 5 was directly related to his “Three Tough Battles” at the Economic Work Conference. The first of the Three Tough Battles is to guard against major risks, including implicit debt and the vulnerability of financial institutions.

Ever since the policy of reform and opening up began, the Chinese Communist Party has faced a new challenge: how to effectively supervise the market economy and in particular, how to control capital. I would like to make a few points: First, about capital issues. What is the logic of capital? The Communist Manifesto states that since the capitalist society must be divided into two distinct classes of capitalists and proletarians, capitalism must inevitably produce its own grave-diggers, so the historical logic of capitalist development must end in the elimination of private ownership. But they did not realize that it would take thousands of years for socialism to develop. This is an extremely long process. In the process of unfolding of the logic of the development of capital, complicated situations have arisen. For China, just as it did for the former Soviet Union, this historical process has had its frustrations and its ups and downs.

During this process, the Communist Party of China must lead the market economy for a long time but the nature of the Communist Party itself and its values are revolutionary. Although some people are very disgusted with those who are bringing up the topic of revolution again, the Party’s ultimate goal is the elimination of private ownership. However, our market economy currently includes a very large non-public sector economy. Capital is at the core of the market economy. The values of capital and those of the Communist Party are at odds.

The nature of capital is value-added, capital is the soul of the capitalists. Capitalists are merely the embodiment of capital. Its value orientation is the pursuit of personal interests or the interests of market entities. So within the logic of capitalism lies its ability to digest socialism. The challenge we face today is serious. As far as the actual operations are concerned, we continue to talk about the positive role of capital, but the negative effects of capital are rarely mentioned. More than three years ago, when I was interviewed on the Shuipi Forum, I said that capital should be kept in a cage. In 2015, at the root of the stock market disaster was capital, both foreign capital and domestic capital. Therefore, we must maintain our whip hand over capital, not only to take advantage of its positive role, but also to effectively control and constrain its extremely negative effects. This is a great challenge for our Party.

Second, on the relationship between the respective roles of the government and the market. There are two possibilities: the combination of the government and the market is “market mechanisms are effective: vitality at the micro economic level and appropriate controls at the macro level”. The bad combination is that market mechanisms do not play a role, the there is no vitality at the micro economic level and control at the macro level is either absent or excessive. If market controls are not done properly, the latter situation may also occur.

The fundamental idea of the so-called “market faction” is that China should further marketize. They always think that “loosening” has not gone far enough. First, the report of the 18th National Congress clearly pointed out that the overall goal of the reform is to promote the modernization of the national governance system and governance capacity, rather than the “marketization” that some people, oversimplifying, this is the goal. Moreover, just what is “appropriate”? We have forty years of experience and lesson about this. When the two mesh well, the economy develops smoothly and the situation is better than it is in the West. Of course, the government has frequently intervened and the enterprises have not been able to realize their full potential. People who run enterprises naturally want to see them realize their full potential. However, the combination of the three do not mesh property. The degree of macro-control “degree” is wrong problems also arise because of a disorderly market. Therefore looking at it from a control perspective, this is a very difficult problem.

In short, we need to clearly understand the problem of capital and strictly control it. Economic operations work better when the role of government and market mechanisms mesh well. When they don’t, economic operations don’t do well.

(Author: Kong Dan, chairman of the CITIC [note: formerly known as China International Trust Investment Corporation. CITIC is a state-owned investment company] Reform and Development Research Foundation)

 


孔丹:中国共产党长期领导市场经济,必须善于管控资本

思想火炬 3月17日

 

本公众号是中国社会科学院国家文化安全与意识形态建设研究中心、中国历史唯物主义学会和北京习风堂联合打造的“凝聚正能量、传播好思想”官微,以弘扬社会主义意识形态、宣传国家主流价值观、维护国家安全为己任,致力于为实现中华民族的伟大复兴而贡献力量!

  编者按:中国特色社会主义来自于我们90多年革命、建设和改革的实践,同样也来自中华民族深厚的历史传统。中华观念崇尚“民为贵,社稷次之,君为轻”,中国人说的经济就是“经世济民”。坚持人民主体地位正是社会主义的核心价值,共产党的宗旨就是全心全意为人民服务。中国特色社会主义的本质特征是中国共产党的领导,中国这么大一个国家,只有共产党才能维护国家的统一和社会的安定。只有共产党才能领导中国走社会主义道路,所以党的领导是贯穿整个社会主义时代的。

关注十九大以来的几个重要文件

党的十九大报告第一次提出了“新时代中国特色社会主义思想”。去年年底召开的中央经济工作会议提出,十八大以来我们成功驾驭了经济发展大局,在实践中形成了以新发展理念为主要内容的习近平新时代中国特色社会主义经济思想。它的核心内容是“七个坚持”:坚持党对经济工作的领导,坚持以人民为中心的发展思想,坚持适应把握引领经济发展新常态,坚持处理好政府和市场关系,坚持适应我国经济发展主要矛盾变化,完善宏观调控、推进供给侧结构性改革,坚持问题导向部署经济发展新战略,坚持正确工作策略和方法、稳中求进和底线思维。这是继十九大报告之后的又一个重要文件。

此后1月30日,中共中央政治局进行第三次集体学习时,习近平同志就十九大报告和中央经济工作会议中提出的“现代化经济体系”概念做了进一步阐述。他指出:建设现代化经济体系是我国发展的战略目标,也是转变发展方式、优化结构和转换增长动力的迫切要求,需要深入探讨。现代化经济体系的建设包括七个部分:创新引领、协同发展的产业体系,统一开放、竞争有序的市场体系,体现效率、促进公平的收入分配体系,彰显优势、协调联动的城乡区域发展体系,资源节约、环境友好的绿色发展体系,多元平衡、安全高效的全面开放体系,充分发挥市场作用、更好发挥政府作用的经济体制。这是由社会经济活动各环节、各层面、各领域相互联系构成的整体。

结合“三个一以贯之”理解中央经济工作会议精神

我们应高度重视和认真学习习总书记在1月5日在中央党校研讨班发表的重要讲话。在这个讲话中,习近平同志强调了三个“一以贯之”:坚持中国特色社会主义要一以贯之,坚持党的建设的伟大工程要一以贯之,增强忧患意识、防范重大风险要一以贯之。

首先,习总书记强调,中国特色社会主义不是从天上掉下来的,是源自于改革开放40年的实践,来自建国69年来的探索,来自中国共产党97年的探索,来自中国近代170年由衰转盛的历史探索,最后落到中华5000年的历史。中国特色社会主义思想同样也离不开这五个来源。习总书记以宏大的历史眼光回顾了中华几千年兴衰更替的历史,回顾了中国共产党和苏联共产党的历史,最后落到党领导中国特色社会主义伟大事业这一历史任务。当年邓小平同志说过:坚持和完善社会主义要经过几代人、十几代人、几十代人的努力。而几十代人就是上千年。这是极高的历史站位。

中国特色社会主义来自于我们90多年革命、建设和改革的实践,同样也来自中华民族深厚的历史传统。中华观念崇尚“民为贵,社稷次之,君为轻”,中国人说的经济就是“经世济民”。坚持人民主体地位正是社会主义的核心价值,共产党的宗旨就是全心全意为人民服务。中国特色社会主义的本质特征是中国共产党的领导,中国这么大一个国家,只有共产党才能维护国家的统一和社会的安定。只有共产党才能领导中国走社会主义道路,所以党的领导是贯穿整个社会主义时代的。

习总书记同时指出,我们党不但是执政党,而且是革命党,还要自我革命。坚持党的建设的伟大工程一以贯之。

最后是增强忧患意识、防范重大风险要一以贯之。习总书记列举了很多方面的多种风险。关于经济方面的风险,一是世界经济复苏缓慢,保护主义内顾倾向抬头,中美经贸摩擦将是长期的,美国正在发起对华“301调查”,动辄对我国使用制裁手段。二是我国金融和国际金融之间的互动更加紧密和频繁,2008年以来西方整体债务水平高企,杠杆率持续攀升,现在它们逐步退出非常规量宽政策,这将带来全球资产流动加速和资产重新配,他们的货币政策和财政政策形成的风险外溢效应加剧,我们要注意国际金融安全。三是国内债务问题,这些年我们通过多种措施有效降低了风险,但是这方面的风险警报不能解除;中小金融机构风险上升,债券违约可能性变大,影子银行业务难以监管,房地产市场高度金融化,不少家庭债务负担沉重,地方隐性债务不小,很可能发生重大变化。四是我国对外开放和“一带一路”建设,在全球各地形成了相关的海外战略利益,但是由于世界不稳定、不确定,以及地缘政治变动,给我们战略利益带来风险。

习总书记1月5日的讲话和他在经济工作会议讲的“三个攻坚战”是直接相联系的。三大攻坚战中第一个就是防范重大风险,其中包括隐性债务,以及金融机构的脆弱性。

 

中国共产党长期领导市场经济,必须善于管控资本

改革开放以后,中国共产党面对一个新的挑战,就是面对市场经济,如何进行有效监管,尤其是如何管控资本。我谈几点感想:一是关于资本问题。资本的逻辑是什么?《共产党宣言》讲,由于资本主义社会必然分化为资本家和无产者这两个截然不同的阶级,资本主义必然产生出自己的掘墓人,所以资本主义发展的历史逻辑就是消灭私有制。但他们也没有想到社会主义要发展上千年,这是一个极其漫长的过程。资本的逻辑在展开的过程中,出现了复杂的情况,走到像中国,像前苏联这样,历史过程是有挫折和起伏的。

在这个过程中,中国共产党要长期领导市场经济,而共产党本身的性质和它的价值观是革命的,尽管有人对重提革命党非常反感,但党的终极目标就是消灭私有制。但现在的情况是,我们市场经济中含有大量非公经济,市场经济的一个核心的东西是资本。资本和共产党的价值观是有内在悖论的。

资本的本性是增值,资本是资本家的灵魂,资本家不过是资本的人格化。它的价值取向是极其追求个人利益或市场主体的利益。所以资本的逻辑含有对社会主义的消解能力。今天我们面对的挑战是严重的。就现实运行看,我们不断地讲资本的正面作用,但是资本的负面作用则很少提及。三年多前,我在接受水皮访谈时就说过,应该把资本关到笼子里。2015年股灾在其中兴风作浪的就是资本,包括外国资本和国内资本。所以我们要驾驭资本,既要把它的正面作用发挥出来,又要对它极强的负面作用进行有效的控制和管制,这是对我们党的一个极大的挑战。

第二,关于政府的作用和市场作用的关系。这有两种可能:政府和市场好的结合是“市场机制有效、微观主体有活力、宏观调控有度”,而坏的结合就是市场机制发挥不出作用,微观主体没活力,宏观调控或过度或缺位。搞得不好,后一种情况也可能出现。

现在所谓“市场派”的基本看法就是中国应该进一步市场化,总是认为“放”得还不到位。首先,十八大报告就明确指出,改革的总目标是推进国家治理体系和治理能力的现代化,而不是现在很多人简单理解的“市场化”。另外,什么叫“到位”?40年的经验和教训都有,二者结合好的时候经济发展顺利,情况比西方好。当然政府也有不少过多干预,企业的主体作用发挥不出来。搞企业的肯定希望主体要活起来。但是三者结合得不好,宏观调控“度”出问题,市场无序,也很成问题。所以从管控目标看,还是很艰巨的。

总之,资本的问题必须认识清楚,严格管控;经济运行中政府作用和市场机制二者结合得好就是优势,结合得不好就是劣势。

(作者:孔丹,中信改革发展研究基金会理事长)

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About 高大伟 David Cowhig

Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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