We’re the Government, and We’re Here to…Help

Not some government personnel saying they’re from the government; they are the government. The People’s Republic of China plans to form a new government entity whose purpose, ostensibly, is to help out the PRC’s economic private sector.

[The PRC’s] National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planner, said Monday that it would set up a bureau to coordinate policies across different government bodies and help development of the private economy, the source of most of the new jobs and economic dynamism in the country.

This says it all, though:

The new bureau will be tasked with monitoring the country’s private economy and establishing channels for regular communication with private enterprises….

Those channels will become channels of control. “This is what you ought to do to increase performance. Be too bad if you don’t do these things.”

The NDRC’s claim is this:

Unlike the recently formed national data bureau, which also falls under the NDRC’s umbrella, the new department announced Monday won’t hold a vice-ministerial rank, suggesting it is unlikely to be a policy heavyweight in a vast government bureaucracy that has long favored the country’s powerful state-owned enterprises.

That won’t last. The new department will increasingly gain power as its controls strengthen. That’s not particularly unique to the PRC; all governments are populated by bureaucrats whose primary personal imperative is to hold onto/increase their power as part of their justification for their jobs. It’s just a stronger imperative for the bureaucrats of the PRC government, and especially for Emperor President Xi Jinping.

Thus, this is the government of the People’s Republic of China extending its control over the nation’s economy through a back window. I don’t write “the nation’s private economy” because that term in the PRC is a cynical euphemism for government-controlled businesses that are nominally privately owned. Mainland Chinese companies, along with those on Hong Kong and Macau, are too beholden to the PRC’s intelligence community’s “information” demands and to the PRC’s newly enacted “report on your friends’ and neighbors’ suspicious espionage activities” law.

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