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Chinese Whispers

Is 'common prosperity' the road to common poverty?


Deng Xiaoping used to say, 'let some people get rich first'. Four decades on from the start of his economic experiment with marketisation, Xi Jinping is, these days, talking about 'common prosperity' instead - prosperity for the many, not the few. But what does this new economic direction mean in practice, and could it, in fact, stifle the very market forces that made so-called 'socialism with Chinese characteristics' so successful?

Joining me to read between the tea leaves is George Magnus, economist and author of Red Flags: Why Xi's China is in Jeopardy. We discuss how unequal China really is, what we know about common prosperity so far (e.g. arm-twisted philanthropy from billionaires like Jack Ma) and what Chinese public opinion might make of it all.