Chinese Economists 50 Forum:Debate over China’s future direction or making irresponsible remarks?

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The 20th anniversary conference of the Chinese Economists 50 Forum (CE50) was held at Beijing’s Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on Sunday, looking backward to China’s 40 years of economic reforms and opening up and forward to a new mission.

Vice-premier Liu He, also co-founder of the elite club, attended the venue but left only after the opening speech by Wu Jinglian, one of the country’s most eminent pro-market economists.

In the eyes of CCP top leaders, at least 49 of the country’s most eminent economists are just “nobody”, and it is a total disgrace for these economists to serve  with heart and soul the country led by these arrogant leaders.

According to South China Morning Post, Liu left the venue after Wu’s speech “to take a flight”, but the event’s organiser said speakers’ comments would be handed to the “relevant departments”.

According to CE50, experts, scholars and entrepreneurs had a deep and open discussion around the theme after keynote speeches by five economists Wu Jinglian, Lou Jiwei, Bai’chong’en, Yang Weimin and Lin Yifu. Journalists from over 60 “eminent” media were summoned for reporting.

Chinese state media would not release anything worthy of mentioning about their debate although the government’s policies in dealing with the trade war with the US have been “largely challenged” at the economic forum.

The 88-year-old Wu was one of the very few who dare to question the government’s recent centralization of private ownership. “What we learned from the past 40 years is that we must insist on a market-oriented and law-based direction of reform.” He commented.

Lou Jiwei from the Foreign Affairs Committee raised the question of supply-side structural reform, saying that deepening reform is needed to solve the problems netted in total volume and structure, and in the improvement of mechanism and efficiency in such production factors as labor, capital and the land.

Bai Chong’en was critical about the concept of “special preferences” and “general well-being”. In the past 40 years, economic gains have largely been allocated among the elites and governments at different levels while ordinary citizens have been exempted from their shares. “Special preferences” have caused widespread corruption across the country.

Yang Weimin from the PCC Economic Commission only hails the central government, listing his summary in eight areas of economic development from quantity to quality, from unbalance to balance, ownership reform, market economy, government management to opening up policies, etc.

The notorious economist Lin Yifu from Beijing University analyzed the economy from a “whole new level”, saying that economic development is a process of changing structures, from rural industry to manufacture to service, from low level to high level, adding that the government has successfully seized the opportunities of labor intensive industries and successfully achieved an economic structural reform.

I have watched online the 2 and a half hour forum in full. There are some remarks of criticism or constructive suggestions, but none of the economists has the guts to trace the root causes of China’s economic problems or the difficulties of people’s lives at the present time, or offer persuasive solutions to them. And none of them has the guts to question the central government why Beijing is failing to respond to Donald Trump’s trade challenge.

According to official introduction, CE50 is a civil academic organization for public interests, founded by celebrated Chinese economist in Beijing in June 1998. The Forum brought together near 50 Chinese economists who have first-class academic standards of research and high reputation in academic circles who dedicated to the research of economic development in China. The Forum is widely recognized at home and abroad as a “think tank” to China’s top level economic policy makers.

It’s a shame that these “reputed” economists represent the highest expertise in the economic field of China. Under Xi Jinping’s communist rule of “tightening people’s thought”, how can the economists have any independent thinking? And it’s a shame that these people deserve the name of economists.

The only people in China who can publish criticisms of, or opinions contrary to those of, the Communist Party, are senior members of the Communist Party. According to US Congressional Executive Commission on China, freedom of expression in China is a privilege instead of a right, and there is no freedom of political expression for ordinary citizens. Academics and editors of China’s state-controlled publications are afforded somewhat less leeway than Party officials, but still more than the average person.

I am trying hard to categorize these “economists” into an “elite class” that might have 30%-40% right to speak their minds if I am not that wrong in my judgment. Their debate here constitutes some kind of crime of “making irresponsible remarks” against central policies.

Let me list some translations of this ridiculous policy from the mainstream media in the west:

An editor in China’s violence-prone region of Xinjiang was sacked after he expressed doubts over government policies. China’s communist leaders have warned officials recently over comments which stray from the official line, with new regulations released just over a week ago. – Daily Telegragh

An investigation has found that Zhao “improperly discussed” party policies in Xinjiang and “publicly made comments in opposition” to how the party conducted itself in the region. –Reuters

Zhao Xinwei, the editor of the state-run Xinjiang Daily newspaper, was removed from his job and expelled from the party after an investigation found him guilty of “improperly” discussing, and publicly opposing, government policy in China’s violence-stricken west. – The Guardian

The Communist Party has expelled the recent editor in chief of the official newspaper of the volatile western region of Xinjiang for openly discussing party policy and for corruption. –The New York Times

In mid-October, the Party’s anti-graft watchdog amended its disciplinary rules, which added more offences that could lead to the expulsion of cadres, such as vilifying party leaders and “distorting party history”, as well asopenly making “inappropriate” comments or challenges to the party’s key policies and directions. – South China Morning Post.

I am not in a position or with any intention to make fun of these individuals. I only want to tell that rule under the CCP in China is so much preposterous and idiotic. They are just fooling people around as animals.

These days the hottest topic about China might be the trade war with the US, and Beijing’s retaliation of US$60 billion looks so soft and tiny a fist blow. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Tuesday that new U.S. tariffs on China are aimed at modifying Beijing’s behavior and China is “out of bullets”.

Premier Li Keqiang Wednesday acknowledged during an address speaking at a World Economic Forum conference in Tianjin that his government is able to help the domestic economy withstand challenges. “China is confronted with a host of difficulties and challenges in economic development,” Li said, “Indeed, we’re facing greater difficulties in keeping stable performance of the Chinese economy.”

Commissioned by central government leaders and relevant departments, the CE50 Forum has a mission dedicated to contributing to research and recommendations on China’s economic development and reforms. But at a time when these Chinese economists need to speak out, their mouths are open but their minds all sealed up.

We are listing the names of these attending economists or entrepreneurs:

Bai Chong’en, Cai Fang, Fan Gang, Han Wenxiu, Huang Yiping, Hu Angang, Li Bo, Lou Jiwei, Lin Yifu, Song Xiaowu, Wu Xiaoling, Wei Jie, Ma Jiantang, Qian Yingyi, Guan Tao, Xia Bin, Wang Yiming, Long Guoqiang, He Liping, Li Xiaoxi, Chen Dongqi, Cheng Hong, Yi Gang, Yang Weimin, Zheng Lixin, Xu Shanda, Zhang Shuguang; And Cao Deyun,  Deng Zhaoming, Ding Jianyong, Chen Dongsheng, Guo Quping, Pan Zhongguang, Wang Jinsheng, Wang Xiaolan, Zhang Yi, Zhao Min, Zhou Zhiyuan, Ping Fan, Zhang zhizhou, Liu Guangchao, Yang Yudong, Duan Yingji, Liu Xiaoyan, Yuliang.

By Cloudy Seagail

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