Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities stated during the party congress that China would open up more in the future. However, experts have expressed skepticism.
On Oct. 17, Zhao Chenxin, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of the regime, said at a press conference that it’s a misconception that China would be closed off under the CCP’s rule, and that it may even develop a self-sufficient economy. “In the future, China’s door will only open wider,” he said.
When being asked how the Chinese government could reduce its dependence on foreign imported resources such as iron ore, crude oil, natural gas, soybeans, Zhao quoted CCP leader Xi Jinping’s “dual circulation” strategy for the Chinese economy—“the domestic circulation is the main body, supported by external circulation.”
Yang Bin, a mainland economist and fund manager, told The Epoch Times on Oct. 17 that when officials say that domestic circulation is the main body, the so-called opening to the outside world is just a mention in passing, “Actually, it emphasizes internal circulation, not the opening-up. That means it doesn’t want to open up anymore.”
Chiou Jiunn-Rong, a professor of economics at Taiwan’s Central University, told The Epoch Times on Oct. 17 that since the CCP joined the WTO, its growth has benefited from international trade and investment. “Now, the new U.S. chip ban [has hit China hard] and has made it aware of the considerable risk with external dependence. So in the future, its efforts to be self-sufficient will be even greater.”
Executives Fleeing China
Zhao Chenxin said that the 2022 version of the regime’s “Catalogue of Industries Encouraged for Foreign Investment” will be released and implemented to promote major foreign-funded projects and to optimize the services to foreign-funded enterprises.
Chiou said previously, “foreign companies’ executives were attracted by the benefits of being in China. But since [the CCP] adopted a policy of zero-COVID controls, everyone finds it unbearable and wants to leave.”
The recent expansion of the U.S. chip ban on China has strictly restricted high-end talents in assisting China’s advanced chip development.
“On the one hand, these executives are unwilling to stay, and on the other hand, foreign governments are now increasing the pressure to force them to leave,” Chiou said.
Yang predicts that after the 20th party congress, the CCP will continue to move to the left: that is, oppose reform and opening up.
“We can see that its momentum is very bad. At least some people (in the party) are working hard in the direction of ‘closing off.’ If it is secluded like North Korea, it means that the leader’s life is great, but the people’s life is difficult.”
Chiou said that the key is Xi Jinping’s left-leaning line, which is unlikely to change in his third term. Therefore, the NDRC official was only mechanically repeating the official rhetoric.
Lin Cenxin contributed to this report.