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The Great Fall
Beijing’s Crackdowns Scare Businesses

The Communist Party of China is preparing for another wave of graft investigations, according to Xinhua:

Pep rallies for the inspections were held on Sunday at the agencies including the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, said the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the CPC.

Graft-busters will target altogether 32 agencies, which also include the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, the General Administration of Customs and the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

Inspections will last for two months, and inspectors will hear complaints and record tip-offs. This round of inspections is the first this year.

Despite what were surely very exciting “pep rallies,” not everyone is likely to think President Xi Jinping’s crackdowns are worth celebrating. Business leaders, already on edge about the economy, are also frightened that Xi’s tightening grip might end up choking them even further. News that Beijing’s internet watchdog had silenced a businessmen, Ren Zhiqiang, with 38 million followers on Weibo brought many corporate executives’ fears to the surface over the weekend. The FT:

At a recent private gathering of some of the country’s richest entrepreneurs, Mr Ren’s plight dominated the conversation. “People were saying this is Cultural Revolution time,” said one person who attended the gathering. “I was quite shocked about how afraid they were.”

As we’ve been saying, Beijing’s crackdowns and its increasingly shrill propaganda are a sign that Chinese officials have little faith in the stability and health of their country. And if even the insiders with the best information are paranoid, that sends a signal about how the rest of us should feel.

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