People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping has been consolidating his power and centralizing control of the PRC in his hands for a while.
Now he’s seizing more direct control of the nation’s economy. Xi has removed Lou Jiwei, the PRC Minister of Finance from office. Lou was “reform-minded” (read: more open and freely operating domestic markets with a more rational tax régime), but that conflicted with Xi’s demand for more government control over those same domestic markets. Xi has reassigned Lou to run the nation’s pension fund. The fund is in a disastrous condition; this is simply a move to set Lou up for failure and removal from government altogether.
Look for Li Keqiang, the PRC’s Premier of the State Council (so far) and nominal number two in the government, to go next.
All that’s remaining is to see whether these folks go into peaceful “retirement” or they’re given reeducation coursework to complete in a quiet rural environment.
Nor does this bode well for the PRC’s international behavior generally, nor does it indicate any interest in Xi’s improving relationships with American government officials. This consolidation simply makes it easier for him to pursue his economic warfare against us through his government’s cyber attacks and cyber spying against our businesses, our nation’s economic infrastructure, and our nation’s government.