This book tells the story of how China's leaders, from Mao to Xi, have sacrificed ethics to promote either macroeconomic performance or microeconomic efficiency. This story includes Mao's collectivization of land, the Great Leap Forward, the Great Cultural Revolution, Deng's opening China to international trade, Tiananmen Square, the freeing of prices, food and medicine scandals, the 2015 surge and collapse of the Chinese stock market, the falling of China's foreign reserves, and so on. In 2008, China's leaders correctly identified the best strategy as a "consumption-driven growth strategy" because the current world is suffering from a glut of savings. However, for that strategy to work, the Chinese need to be able to trust China's economy and leaders. In the absence of trust, people will make decisions based on extremely short time frames which will hurt China's long-run potential and continue to generate a series of speculative bubbles. In the absence of trust, wealthy Chinese will continue to move their assets abroad, putting tremendous downward pressure on the Chinese yuan. The Chinese will develop a long-run perspective and invest in China only when they can trust China's future. In today's world, trust is necessary. Trust is built on ethics.
Jonathan Leightner teaches at Augusta University in the United States and Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. Johns Hopkins University hired him to teach at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in China for 2008-2010. His publications include articles on China's trade, exchange rates, foreign reserves, fiscal policy, and land rights.
1. Introduction and Evaluation Criteria 2. Power Struggles over Policies: The Mao Years 3. Mao Sacrifices Ethics to Advance Macroeconomic Performance 4. The Cat's Color does not Matter: The Deng Years 5. Deng Xiaoping Sacrifices Ethics to Promote Efficiency 6. Some will get Rich before Others: The Jiang Zemin Years: 1989-2002 7. Jiang Zemin Sacrifices Ethics to Promote Efficiency 8. Harmony? The Hu Jintao Years: 2002-2012 9. Export-Driven to Consumption-Driven Growth 10. Central Planning Goals Overshadow Ethics under Hu Jintao 11. Xi Jinping's Domestic Dream for China 12. Consumption-Driven Growth Fails to Thrive under Xi Jinping 13. China's International Dream under Xi Jinping: Trade and Exchange Rate Issues 14. China's International Dream under Xi Jinping: Geopolitical Expansion and Military Issues 15. Xi Jinping Sacrifices Ethics for Macroeconomic Performance 16. Future Paths for China 17. Conclusions, Recommendations, and Xi's Nightmares