As China continues to subsidize inefficient state enterprises on a massive scale, an increasing number of critics - domestic and foreign - are questioning whether current policies mark a rejection or corruption of the vision championed by reformers like Zhu Rongji in the 1990s. Their complaints paint a stark picture of crony-capitalism ossifying to the point where entrenched incumbents become a threat to the future of a prosperous market-oriented China. Are they true?

Joining Jeremy Goldkorn to speak about these issues today is James McGregor, former China Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal, chief executive of Dow Jones China's business operations, and Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce. James is also well-known as the author of the book One Billion Customers, and more recently No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers, a in-depth look at the way the Chinese economy has changed over the past several years.

Care to subscribe to Sinica via iTunes? Just click on the "Advanced" file menu and select the option "Subscribe to Podcast" from the available choices. When prompted copy the URL http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica into the box and you're done. We also encourage all listeners to download the Sinica show as a standalone mp3 file for listening or sharing with friends. Enjoy!
 said on
October 12, 2012
While Mr. McGregor is certainly entitled to his almost simplistic (SEO bad, private business good) classic market-captalist views (which in this case is admittedly well-sourced and well-argued), I'd like to see the moderator put up at least a little bit of challenge to his underlying implication that his were the only serious view on Chinese economy. If nothing else, I'd like to hear his rebuttal of the neo-socialist school, instead of reciting over and over the cherry-picked views of those within the Chinese system that happen to agree with him.

By the way, Mao Yusheng is a "very independent economist" in the sense Donald Trump is a "very independent business leader". In what way did he "pay dearly" for his (at times really vile) comments on Chairmao Mao, other than being "being attacked relentlessly" by his critics? Did those verbal attacks even have any actual consequences? I can't imagine a person like Mao Yusheng being disturbed even a little by critics -- specially when many of those critics are utterly obviously morons.
 said on
October 13, 2012
Fascinating podcast! Keep up the great work!
 said on
October 13, 2012
wgj: We don't take a combative stance at Sinica. This is not Hard Talk. However, I would like to present a range of views. Can you recommend a person who can articulate, in English, a leftist view of China's economy ?

By the way, I am working on a Danwei post in response to your earlier comment about stability maintenance numbers. I have all the source documents quoted in the media. Hopefully publish sometime next week.
 said on
October 13, 2012
@Jeremy,

I'm still awaiting the day with baited breath when you folks here at Sinica actually present a non-combative podcast that presents non-isolated viewpoints that don't only articulate the personal narrow political viewpoints of the current Sinica staff. Or a podcast that doesn't feature cherry picked rightist-guests whose views reflect those narrow and combative viewpoints of the current staff of "Sinologists"

When you actually post one of those, let me know, I'd be happy to listen.

Until then, Sinica shall continue to remain blocked from my Popup account.
 said on
October 13, 2012
Yes, more 和谐!No more smear pieces on the Great Wall!! And stop trying to throw us off with your coverage of Huawei; we didn't actually listen to the episode (because we've blocked Sinica from our iTunes feed), but we read somewhere that its favorable coverage directly contributed to the recent report from the House Intelligence Committee. How could you, Jeremy?
 said on
October 13, 2012
On a less facetious note, Arthur Kroeber (a previous Sinica guest!) provides a lens onto the Chinese economy less oriented towards "SEO bad/private industry good", or at least more forgiving of China's macro-economic decision making towards SEOs, infrastructure and the like.

 said on
October 13, 2012
@zjv5002,

No need not to be facetious. It is tiresome to read (week after week) how the same people are boycotting Sinica because it is anti-China. That is not the conclusion I think anyone familiar with Jeremy or Kaiser's work will come to, but even if we accept that they are running dogs and foreign imperialists surely one farewell post is enough?

The irony is particularly profound in this case since the "neo-socialist" policies wgj wants to defend against McGregor's "market-capitalist" critique are in fact nothing of the sort -- the specific policies discussed by McGregor grew out of the neo-liberal reforms embraced by China in the early 2000s as part of its transition away from a state-run economy. Mapping any left/right dichotomy onto McGregor's critique is silly -- is it capitalist in the sense that he is talking about capital, but there are any number of socialist critics who complain about the same things in the context of China's labor market, such as Eli Friedman's recent piece in Jacobin:

http://jacobinmag.com/2012/08/china-in-revolt/

The sensible critique of McGregor's argument which I didn't find discussed is "why now"? As in -- sure the system may be corrupt and lead to enormous distortions within the Chinese market, but why is NOW the point at which it becomes unsustainable and why exactly does McGregor think the development model worked in the past anyway? That could lead to an interesting discussion. But simply calling people anti-China for thinking and talking about this stuff in a humanist way is not.
 said on
December 6, 2012
Great podcast, thank you! Now I must read both "McGregor" books.

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