08 March 2010

Next generation of Chinese leaders

It really shouldn't shock anyone that the next generation of Chinese leaders will be people who grew up in affluence and plenty, rather than the poverty of the revolutionary and post-revolutionary leaders. I think Matthew Yglesias gets at some of the interesting implications of this, but he does not go nearly far enough.
In policy decisions, the princelings tend to believe the future lies with advancing the interests of the middle class; the tuanpai tend to pay more attention than the princelings to vulnerable groups such as farmers, migrant workers and the urban poor.
The current Chinese regime does not do a very good job of taking care of its poor. They make an attempt, but there is a reason why riots and protests break out so often in China. (Remember: Every year sees 10%+ growth in "incidents of social unrest.") The poor in China lack basic necessities like clean drinking water and safe baby formula.

If the next generation pay even less attention to the poor, the whole country will end up falling down around them. The poor are still the vast majority of the country; without some kind of attempt to spread the wealth China is accumulating, the nation will fall.

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