President Xi Jinping of China has delivered a rare public defense of his “shared prosperity” strategy, which has witnessed substantial economic crackdowns.
His remarks came during the annual conference of government and business leaders hosted by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
China claims the policy is intended at closing the country’s rising wealth inequality, which, if left ignored, might endanger the Communist Party’s control.
The crackdowns have impacted technology, education, and entertainment companies.
Mr Xi told delegates, “The shared prosperity we want is not equality.”
“We shall first increase the size of the pie before correctly dividing it through rational institutional structures. As a rising tide lifts all boats, everyone will benefit from growth in a more significant and equitable fashion, and development benefits will benefit all of our people “He went on to say more.
Some view the restrictions put in place by the shared prosperity policies as a method to rein in the billionaire owners of some of China’s largest corporations, giving consumers and workers more input in how companies function and distribute their gains.
However, as a result of its execution, the value of some of China’s largest enterprises has been wiped out by billions of dollars as Beijing imposes strict new controls on them, which has alarmed overseas investors.
Mr. Xi sought to allay some of those fears during his speech, saying that the country is still open to foreign investment.
“All sorts of capital are welcome to operate in China, according to rules and regulations, and to contribute to the country’s growth,” he added.
Due of the epidemic, the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering will be held online rather than in the Swiss resort of Davos this year.
Mr. Xi’s remarks come as he prepares to be re-elected for a third term later this year.
That would confirm his status as a peer of Mao Zedong, the founder of the Chinese People’s Republic, and Deng Xiaoping, his successor, who led key economic changes in the country.
Meanwhile, the Beijing Winter Olympics are set to begin next month, at a time when China is receiving worldwide criticism for infringing on democratic freedoms in Hong Kong, as well as its treatment of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang and its policy toward Taiwan.