New Report | The End of Experimentation and Aspiration in Xi Jinping’s China
NEW YORK; September 27, 2023 – Chinese President Xi Jinping’s governance has “fundamentally changed” the incentives influencing behavior in China today, undermining the key drivers of the country’s economic success during the Deng-Jiang-Hu period, a new paper from the Asia Society Policy Institute’s Center for China Analysis (CCA) argues.
In “The End of Experimentation and Aspiration in Xi Jinping’s China,” CCA Senior Fellow on Chinese Economy Diana Choyleva zooms out to examine China’s economic headwinds from a socio-behavioral perspective, outlining how Xi’s macro-level policies have changed the personal decision-making calculus of local government officials, private sector entrepreneurs and Chinese youth in ways that bode ill for the economy for years to come. The paper is the first in a two-part series exploring how Xi’s leadership has changed behavioral incentives in the country.
In her analysis, she describes how Xi’s centralization of power, relentless anti-corruption campaign and economic policies have:
- Stifled experimentation by local officials, threatening one of the most successful aspects of China’s development model: the formulation of policy by trial-and-error.
- Undermined private entrepreneurial spirit, thanks to a focus on frugality and ideology rather than pragmatism.
- Disillusioned the country’s youth, who now face growing, likely intractable levels of unemployment – and represent a potentially destabilizing force.