Beijing Bows to the Davos Mandate

Commentary What’s the difference between the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) new “common prosperity” policy and the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Great Reset? Nothing … except for the marketing. The WEF in Davos, Switzerland certainly knows its way around public relations and a slick website. Xi and Schwab: Birds of a Feather? At the 2022 annual WEF meeting held via Zoom last month, Chinese leader Xi Jinping defended the CCP’s crackdown on Chinese billionaires and their companies in the high technology, media, and entertainment industries. Xi told the WEF Zoom audience of global leaders and corporate magnates–which included WEF founder Klaus Schwab–that the CCP’s common prosperity policy will narrow the growing income gap between the wealthy elites and the rest of Chinese society. Coincidentally, that’s one of the same purported goals of the WEF’s Great Reset. Income equalization for everybody is a distinct part of the WEF’s plans for the world. World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab during the WEF’s annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 20, 2020. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images) For Xi, the goal is primarily to bring stability and longevity to the CCP and knows that the growing income gap threatens the legitimacy of the CCP in several ways. But the common prosperity plan isn’t just about solving China’s widening wealth gap per se. The High Cost of Ridding China of Billionaires It’s about keeping Xi in power, no matter what the cost. And the cost is high, as much as a trillion dollars in lost value from the ongoing crackdowns against independent businesses. The collapse of the real estate development sector–one of the main drivers of the Chinese economy–has cost tens of millions of Chinese investors their life savings. This very dramatic and costly public failure—and the financial weakness that comes with it—points directly at the CCP’s failure to manage the economy, which is its primary mandate and source of political legitimacy. That represents a direct threat to the Party’s power. Furthermore, the stringent control that the CCP now has over businesses and the deep penetration into their social lives not only restrains the citizenry, but infuriates them. An angry citizenry is a threat to any totalitarian system because there is little mechanism to release public pressure. At the same time, the ultrawealthy tech, media, and entertainment oligarchs in China have been publicly criticizing Xi and his policies over the past couple of years. Having powerful industrial kingpins trash-talking the many economic and political blunders threatens not just the legitimacy of the CCP, but Xi himself. Common Prosperity Is Not Egalitarian Criticism from powerful and wealthy adversaries within the CCP’s upper echelons also threatens Xi’s political survival. Xi has and is addressing that threat “head-on” by threatening to bash his adversaries’ heads in. Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba Group, attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 23, 2019. (Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters) Thus, common prosperity is neither about the common welfare nor about prosperity, but has everything to do with Xi remaining in power by vanquishing his political enemies and “resetting” the Chinese economy in the WEF framework by gaining total control over it and the Chinese people. The idea of community prosperity may sound attractive to some at first, but according to Xi’s own speech, it isn’t very nice at all and has nothing to do with any Western, democratic egalitarian ideals or objectives. “Egalitarianism,” you may recall, is commonly defined as, “the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.” But as Xi said to the WEF delegates, “The common prosperity we desire is not egalitarianism … [rather], everyone will get a fair share from development, and development gains will benefit all our people in a more substantial and equitable way.” Everyone will get a “fair share” from “development gains.” And who will decide what is fair and equitable? The CCP, of course. That helps explain the Party’s crackdown on billionaires and anti-Xi factions within the Party. The reality is that the charade of a common prosperity system can only work if the billionaire class and their power and criticism of Xi are greatly reduced, if not delegitimized as role models and eventually eliminated. This helps explain why the Party forced Hui Ka Yan, owner of Evergrande, to personally make the payments on bond payments due to creditors. Not only does it scapegoat the wealthy developer, but also portrays the Party—and Xi, in particular—as protecting the people from the ravenous wealthy. The irony of the common prosperity, of course, is that Xi is exceptionally ravenous for power, control, and wealth. It would appear that the same could be said of Herr Schwab and the WEF. And this isn’t the first time that Xi has handled political threats under the cover

Beijing Bows to the Davos Mandate

Commentary

What’s the difference between the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) new “common prosperity” policy and the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Great Reset?

Nothing … except for the marketing. The WEF in Davos, Switzerland certainly knows its way around public relations and a slick website.

Xi and Schwab: Birds of a Feather?

At the 2022 annual WEF meeting held via Zoom last month, Chinese leader Xi Jinping defended the CCP’s crackdown on Chinese billionaires and their companies in the high technology, media, and entertainment industries.

Xi told the WEF Zoom audience of global leaders and corporate magnates–which included WEF founder Klaus Schwab–that the CCP’s common prosperity policy will narrow the growing income gap between the wealthy elites and the rest of Chinese society.

Coincidentally, that’s one of the same purported goals of the WEF’s Great Reset. Income equalization for everybody is a distinct part of the WEF’s plans for the world.

Epoch Times Photo
World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab during the WEF’s annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 20, 2020. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

For Xi, the goal is primarily to bring stability and longevity to the CCP and knows that the growing income gap threatens the legitimacy of the CCP in several ways. But the common prosperity plan isn’t just about solving China’s widening wealth gap per se.

The High Cost of Ridding China of Billionaires

It’s about keeping Xi in power, no matter what the cost. And the cost is high, as much as a trillion dollars in lost value from the ongoing crackdowns against independent businesses.

The collapse of the real estate development sector–one of the main drivers of the Chinese economy–has cost tens of millions of Chinese investors their life savings.

This very dramatic and costly public failure—and the financial weakness that comes with it—points directly at the CCP’s failure to manage the economy, which is its primary mandate and source of political legitimacy. That represents a direct threat to the Party’s power.

Furthermore, the stringent control that the CCP now has over businesses and the deep penetration into their social lives not only restrains the citizenry, but infuriates them. An angry citizenry is a threat to any totalitarian system because there is little mechanism to release public pressure.

At the same time, the ultrawealthy tech, media, and entertainment oligarchs in China have been publicly criticizing Xi and his policies over the past couple of years. Having powerful industrial kingpins trash-talking the many economic and political blunders threatens not just the legitimacy of the CCP, but Xi himself.

Common Prosperity Is Not Egalitarian

Criticism from powerful and wealthy adversaries within the CCP’s upper echelons also threatens Xi’s political survival. Xi has and is addressing that threat “head-on” by threatening to bash his adversaries’ heads in.

Jack Ma
Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba Group, attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 23, 2019. (Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters)

Thus, common prosperity is neither about the common welfare nor about prosperity, but has everything to do with Xi remaining in power by vanquishing his political enemies and “resetting” the Chinese economy in the WEF framework by gaining total control over it and the Chinese people.

The idea of community prosperity may sound attractive to some at first, but according to Xi’s own speech, it isn’t very nice at all and has nothing to do with any Western, democratic egalitarian ideals or objectives.

“Egalitarianism,” you may recall, is commonly defined as, “the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.”

But as Xi said to the WEF delegates, “The common prosperity we desire is not egalitarianism … [rather], everyone will get a fair share from development, and development gains will benefit all our people in a more substantial and equitable way.”

Everyone will get a “fair share” from “development gains.”

And who will decide what is fair and equitable?

The CCP, of course. That helps explain the Party’s crackdown on billionaires and anti-Xi factions within the Party.

The reality is that the charade of a common prosperity system can only work if the billionaire class and their power and criticism of Xi are greatly reduced, if not delegitimized as role models and eventually eliminated.

This helps explain why the Party forced Hui Ka Yan, owner of Evergrande, to personally make the payments on bond payments due to creditors. Not only does it scapegoat the wealthy developer, but also portrays the Party—and Xi, in particular—as protecting the people from the ravenous wealthy.

The irony of the common prosperity, of course, is that Xi is exceptionally ravenous for power, control, and wealth. It would appear that the same could be said of Herr Schwab and the WEF.

And this isn’t the first time that Xi has handled political threats under the cover of an altruistic sounding campaign. Recall that after taking power in 2012, Xi embarked on his “anti-corruption” campaign that was nothing more, and certainly nothing less, than a vast and vicious purge of any political threats to Xi within the Party.

As a result, millions of Party members were stripped of power, with many convicted of corruption and imprisoned or otherwise taken out of the picture. The purge helped Xi on his ascent to becoming the only man to rule over all of China since Mao Zedong. Today, Xi has a level of power and control that Mao could never have imagined.

Does all of this mean that Xi, the CCP, and China itself are beholden to the WEF and its Great Reset plans for the world?

The answer may be a matter of perspective. Schwab himself announced in 2020 that all the countries of the world, including the United States and China, must agree to participate in the Great Reset.

Was that an edict from WEF?

Or perhaps just a suggestion?

Or was it just an acknowledgement of an emerging dictator in Davos of an actual dictator of the world’s most populous nation–you know, birds of a feather and all that?

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. In China, at least, the Great Reset seems to be well on its way.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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James R. Gorrie is the author of “The China Crisis” (Wiley, 2013) and writes on his blog, TheBananaRepublican.com. He is based in Southern California.