Xi is often described as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao. But he sits atop a system with many weaknesses. Entrenched factions are resisting economic reforms. Meanwhile, increased state control is hard to reconcile with fostering the innovation that China needs to achieve the next stage of its development. Authoritarianism is also unappealing to the country’s elites, who are increasingly voting with their feet and their wallets. Two-thirds of Chinese who win places to study abroad do not return.
China is still really hard for anyone outside of China to figure out. That isn’t going to change anytime soon. There are so many complex internal processes at play, that perhaps applying our stock attempts at explanation aren’t going to add any value.
I am amazed at the total lack of investigative reporting by New Zealand journalists into the “hot money” flowing into New Zealand, particularly into the property market on the part of student and temporary visa holders. There are surely some interesting stories in there.