China the new rich man’s playground

China the new rich man’s playground, by Roger Boyles.

China, and its 92 million Communist Party members, pretends it is still a socialist society with “Chinese characteristics”. Its biggest claim to some kind of legitimacy is that it has lifted the country out of poverty and illiteracy. When the data shows that this is not the whole truth, the regime refuses to publish it.

Different western sources indicate that there are 819 dollar billionaires in the country; others suggest 285 billionaires and 3,480,000 millionaires. Either way, China appears to be second only to the US in terms of its rich class.

References to Winnie the Pooh are banned in China, because everyone knows they mean Xi.

Xi, in spite of an annual income of barely $22,000, is said to have a personal fortune in the region of $1.5 billion. There was no problem funding his daughter through Harvard, though she had to enrol under a pseudonym. …

Foreign correspondents who have dug into the roots of Xi’s family wealth are quickly made unwelcome by the regime. Because Xi, in his ambitions, is no different from the rest of the monied in China. There is nothing Marxist about him or his cohort; their children, not the children of the poor, will inherit the Earth.

The Gini index of social inequality places China as the 31st worst in the world, about the same level as the Dominican Republic and Cameroon. …

In the late 1970s 10 per cent of the population held 27 per cent of China’s wealth. By the early 1990s the super-rich had between 40 and 50 per cent of national wealth. Now they hold an even larger chunk. …

Just as Orwell’s pigs rose to power by mimicking hated human farmers, China is turning into its capitalist enemy.

Xi isn’t as rich as Putin, who is reputedly the world’s richest man. Putin is even richer than Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Bill Gates of Microsoft, who in any case don’t have nuclear arsenals.