Fosun’s investigation-Virtues and vices of China’s anti-corruption campaign.
An assessment of the three year anti-corruption campaign launched by President Xi is yet premature. The policy was criticized at the beginning as representing a way for the new ruler to clear figures and centers of contending power. Yet the necessity to undertake such a fight was not contested by anyone.
Two major issues were at stake beyond the morality and legal issue, the first had to do with the efficiency of the public sector in its broad conception including all levels of governance in the State owned companies and the second is the cohesion and quality of the state and party authorities.
If China is to drive through the party and the state a new economic empire it has to stay governable. It is in the credit of President Xi to understand that and try to implement it through a wide and unrestrained campaign against whoever was using the state for personal gain. Reaffirming the centrality of power is important in China and paradoxically enough for our multipolar global economy. Regulation and guidance as well as compliance with rules are qualities highly demanded in the present world.
Mr. Guo Fosun’s CEO was mainly recognized as a successful investor in finance and a prominent figure of economic liberalism in the Chinese society. Its acquisitions abroad was associated to a more aggressive capitalism of new China’s tycoons a class of citizen that places national authorities and policies under stress. What is important for authorities in that field apart for traditional balance of power games is the way that the political system with such peculiarities as the Chinese can tame the new realities of extreme concentration of wealth and figures as the one of Guo.
China has to avoid conflicts similar to the Putin-Khohordosky affair and to show more confidence to its power structure. This is in fact the ultimate purpose of the anti-corruption campaign. Sheer power exhibition will not solve any problems of the new intricate realities of the involvement of China’s capital in the world of finance.
In that field innovation means political imagination and institutional efficiency and one of the advantages President Xi holds is that most of these tycoons place themselves as complying with the national objectives. Guo has always declared to be together with his partners faithful to his country authorities. Still it is understandable up to a point that state authorities feel insecure when confronting the power of finance and its consequence of extreme wealth. Global Politics are playing the traditional game through that field and whoever holds well the rein of authority could become the end winner.
Perhaps China is introducing a new style of horse-riding the untamed power of finance or is playing the traditional game of state power against its own unleashed entrepreneurial forces.