How Beijing is asking the rich in the country to pay

Nafter the government’s harsh crackdown on technology and digital corporations and their billionaire founders, uncertainty is growing in China. More and more of the new super-rich feel put on the curb, if not threatened. They and their companies are therefore now pledging billions of dollars to society in order to let them share in the new wealth. President Xi Jinping spoke out against “excessively high” incomes that should be “adjusted”. Your recipients should get involved more, for example through donations.

Christoph Hein

Business correspondent for South Asia / Pacific based in Singapore.

Five of China’s leading tech billionaires alone have jointly pledged more than $ 13 billion. According to government surveys, the disposable income of the 20 percent richest Chinese is more than ten times that of the poorest 20 percent of their compatriots.

Guide to the Future of China

Now, however, Han Wenxiu, the deputy director of the Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs, rowed back a little: China would not “kill its rich to help the poor,” he said. It is true that those who “got rich first” should help others. But donations are not required. Hard work should also continue to be worthwhile. “We can’t wait for help, don’t just rely on others or beg for help. We can’t support amateur players, ”he says.

The latest restrictions imposed by the large technology and digital corporations were in no way directed against the private sector as such or foreign investors, but exclusively against illegal behavior and rule violations. Previously, for example at the alternative location in Singapore, there had been open discussions about an even greater emigration of China’s founders. The fiasco in Hong Kong had already played into the hands of the Southeast Asian financial center.

The Communist Party (CP) released a guide to China’s future on Thursday. “The journey into the future will not go smoothly, but the prospects are promising,” it says. Despite systematic planning, it will of course not be easy to create a balanced level of prosperity for everyone and to allow the comfort of modern life to be available to all 1.4 billion inhabitants. The CP again promises a “unique Chinese path” to modernization that will continue to adapt Marxism to China’s conditions. “This will ensure that economic, political, cultural, social and environmental development is of a higher quality, more efficient, fairer, more sustainable and safer, so that people will enjoy a greater share of its benefits.”

As usual, the party also sought a balance with other countries. There, fears of excessive interference are rampant among investors. While American Vice President Kamala Harris emphasized the contrasts on her trip to Singapore and Vietnam, the Communists appeased their neighboring countries, but continued to attack the Americans. Harris said America welcomes “tough competition. We are not looking for conflict, but we will speak out on issues like the South China Sea. We will speak out when Beijing takes action that threatens the rules-based international order. ”China said it seeks“ cooperation rather than confrontation, openness rather than isolation, and mutual benefit rather than a zero-sum game ”. Then Beijing doubled the delivery of corona vaccination doses to its unloved neighbor Vietnam, which Harris had promised.

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