Since the last decade China has been embarking on a public test trial of a new long term structure for governing China. Provinces, the 4 big cities, autonomous regions and special areas of Hong Kong and Macau and Taiwan have been the managing structures of China. Three new regions have been testing now for over 15 years and they have shifted and been renamed. Once called the Bohai , the Yangtze and the Pearl River Delta regions, they are now called the Greater Bay Area, the Yangtze Region extending right up to Yunnan, and the Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei Region. They are seeming to have one political, one commercial and one financial capital. They are integrating their development and taking over broad powers from the provinces that they cover. I was once told that China will finally consist of 15 regions.
We are seeing the scientific method in development. This is the key mechanism used by the Party to master mind its work. The period of experimentation can last many years until the policy is fully tested, and then it is rolled out , like BRI, was in 2013, or Going Global or the Coastal Provinces, or the Western Initiative. This now seems to have moved under the first Vice Premier , Han Zheng, the successor to Wang Qishan. The regions seem to be taking responsibility for regional development including building development centres. Financial opening up will follow this development. It will be based on the real economy not speculation.
Seeing these as moving towards long term visions is important. It avoids getting stuck in seeing today’s news as an adjustment for the long term. This is a problem most foreigners experience – not seeing the changes as transition towards bigger goals and visions.
Who saw in 1978, when China started removing the communes, that 800 million people would be moved off the land and yields doubled over 40 years by bringing in major, large scale agricultural structures?
The building of New China by 2049 is the first stage of the New China.
Linked by rail, road and water. With carefully developed local government, commercial and financial and political centres. The images of new China are well developed out into the next century but we only see them as the stages are unfolded. The same is true for BRI, now undergoing its 5 year review.
This story is one we all might miss but it is part of the unfolding plan to develop new answers to old problems
Never say China did not tell us. This was all inside President Xi’s report in 2017 to the Party Congress in outline.
The new high speed rail structure is part of this development of modern China. It is why I say that the USA has China wrong. China’s plans are to be safe and secure with its neighbours, based upon sharing and this, by necessity, extends to Europe and the Middle East and Africa and, in more limited ways, to the Americas. Opening, or reopening, new trade channels and new areas of development.
China is focused on developing China and being safe and sharing. It foreswears empire and will not engage in offensive military actions. It has a clear concept of its safe region which it will share with others. But it has studied and rejected empire. But the more the USA tries to contain and impact China’s plans the more they stir resentment and defensive moves. It would be better to negotiate the future world with China on the basis of President Xi’s philosophy of Community of Shared Future. It is not that Trump is wrong to try and recover some control, lost by past Presidents, badly advised. It is just too limited and can end up in cul de sac’s that the USA might want to fight its way out of. There is no value in that strategy for the USA, and even less for British Defence Ministers.
30pc of the world’s growth comes from China. We should be encouraging and sharing in that. We should be building new global structures that protect us all. The West is not going to become socialist. China knows that. But Responsible Capitalism may not be so different from Chinese socialism. It is just a pity that these words of capitalism and socialism have been misused into words of aggression for a hundred years or more. There is much in common in the two systems and much to gain by accepting that they are long term systems. Changing others systems is a waste of resources. Finding ways to use each other’s strengths and opportunities is a better way to move forward, some think.
We should study China’s policy of regions.