By Samuel Lum, CFA
Xi Jinping and others in China’s new leadership team highlighted several policy goals in the 18th party congress in November. These likely will be ratified in next week’s National People’s Congress. In a poll conducted earlier this week in the CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief, we asked readers which of the policy goals is the most important.
In your view, which of the following policy goals is the most important for China’s new leadership team?
Some 48% of respondents rated the policy goal of “fighting corruption, eliminating bureaucracy and encouraging government officials to conduct themselves honorably” as the most important. This response appears consistent with the efforts of the new leadership in China, which organized work group meetings on these topics soon after the 18th National Congress. The seasoned and respected vice premier Wang Qishan (王岐山) was appointed Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection as well as a member of the Politburo Standing Committee to focus on dealing with corruption.
Indeed, there appears to be renewed vigor in the discussion of “sunshine laws” since the 18th National Congress, and trial programs for asset disclosure by government officials are being implemented in select districts in Guangdong and other areas. Xi Jinping was quoted in January using the metaphor “tigers and flies are to be attacked at the same time” (苍蝇老虎一起打) to stress that corruption, whether on a large or small scale, will not be tolerated.
The policy goals of “lowering the GDP share of infrastructure, investment spending and net exports, while increasing consumption” and “reforming the capital markets as well as liberalizing the renminbi and interest rates” received about equal votes — 22% and 20%, respectively. Although the goal of social stability appears to be a key concern of China’s central government, only 11% of respondents thought that “improving social fairness and income equality within the ‘scientific development’ framework” was the most important policy goal. The poll results from the Asia-Pacific edition of the Financial NewsBrief are remarkably similar.
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