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China Center QuickNote: China’s Soft Side

In this members-only China Center QuickNote, Senior Advisor Ken DeWoskin assesses the recent spate of pronouncements, plans and rhetoric regarding the necessity to renew and expand Communist Party efforts on promoting Chinese culture and values.  

The key take-aways from the piece are summarized as follows:

  • Transitioning China to a consumption led economy is not just a matter of ratcheting down investment and stimulating consumption, and containing the vested interests that would work to block this path. Indeed, this is the relatively easy part. 
  • The socio-political challenges of this transition are arguably even more profound and difficult. 
  • The extravagant nature of consumerism in China, and the social friction this necessarily entrains – not to mention its inextricable linkages to foreign culture – essentially undermines the core socialist ideals of China’s political ideology.
  • Thus, to grow consumption, while cooling its unsettling cultural impacts, may be one of the toughest challenges in changing China’s growth model.
  • How the CPC chooses to deal with this dilemma portends to factor hugely into China’s future, both economically and socially – and as such, is something members should keep a watchful eye on.







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