Most analysis of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has focused on how President Xi Jinping is consolidating his already considerable power acquired through a purge of opponents in a corruption crackdown that shows no sign of slowing down.
Despite its three-and-a-half hour running time Xi’s speech (referred to as the Report) in front of the 2,300-delegates assembled in the Great Hall of the People, paid relatively short shrift to the direction of the world’s second largest economy.
In a research note, Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics found that Xi used the word economy (经 济) 70 times during the speech giving it considerably less prominence than his predecessors. And that’s going back all the way to Hu Yaobang’s 1982 address which talked about the economy 104 times.
The word market (市 场) received less of an airing than it did in 1992 (19 vs 58 times) while Xi mentioned competition (竞争) only six times, giving the term the least prominence in 30 years.
Xi’s emphasis fell on the party (331 times), the military (86) and politics (91). The 36 times Xi’s talked about a “new era” for China, he presumably wasn’t talking about the country’s economy.
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