Earlier this month, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang both delivered forceful instructions on how to reform China’s state-owned sector. Their messages directly contradicted one another. Mr. Xi has called for “stronger, better, bigger” state juggernauts, with a central role for the Communist Party in their management. Mr. Li has stressed the need to “slim down” state companies and to “follow market rules” in remaking them. According to The Wall Street Journal, party insiders and China experts say the conflicting messaging and other recent episodes, including thinly veiled criticism of Mr. Li’s policies from the Xi camp, show how discord between the top two Chinese leaders is increasingly spilling into the open. In the short term, the disunity is adding another layer of uncertainty over leaders’ promised restructuring of the Chinese economy.
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