What gets us excited
Today’s China is forging its own road, and as China’s sense of self shifts, so does the tenor of its political rhetoric. In Party Congress speeches over the last 25 years, Party leaders are increasingly likely to use words that indicate indigenous, “Chinese” solutions (orange columns), rather than words that indicate openness and inclusivity (purple columns).
Today’s China is trying to avert a financial crisis by disciplining its banking system, slowing asset growth dramatically. In fact, since April 2017, bank asset growth has averaged just 10.9% y/y while the economy has grown by 11.1%. That means the banking system has shrunk to 303.5% of GDP, from a recent high of 309.6% back in December 2016.
The corruption crackdown
Today’s China is actively working to stamp out corruption. Between 2013 and 2017, the number of officials investigated or disciplined for corruption more than doubled, pointing to the ferocity of Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign and his pledge to stamp out “tigers and flies” (both major and minor offenders).
Today’s China is making a concerted effort to clean up its environment and cut down on pollution. Between 2011 and 2016, emissions of pollutant gases sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide both dropped by half, while the number of nature preserves steadily increased.