Tall tales and Chinese shape-shifters

Inside China, debate about the country’s transition remains robust. But former bulls are shifting discussion away from the critical question of capital misallocation in a way that may pressure reform.

Part of the reason for the concerns that my blog has been hacked for political reasons may be the widespread belief abroad that no debate is permitted within China about the urgent need for economic reform. In fact this isn’t true. The discussion within China is quite vigorous, and the misperception is probably fuelled by the belief – spread often enough, it seems, by China bulls – that the debate about the weaknesses in the Chinese economy is largely a debate between foreigners and Chinese, with some bulls even arguing that it is a debate between those who wish China ill and those who wish it well. The implication, of course, is that only someone who is incapable of understanding China – ie a foreigner – could possibly believe that China has problems.

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