Dear readers, if there’s one thing we’ve always said, it’s this: “If something isn’t not un-broken, don’t avoid not fixing it.” Clearly the cadres in Beijing have been listening, judging by their excellent track record this week of meddling in absolutely everything they can get their regulatory paws on, the capital city itself included.
Yes, Beijing’s city center has been effectively shut down and sealed off this week in preparation for the 70th celebration of Japan’s defeat at the end of World War II. Roads, subway stations, shopping districts–all rendered devoid of civilians so that uniformed soldiers can get their goose-step just right before they finally make their way down the capital’s main avenue in a week or so. All those economically productive civvies trying to get to work downtown needed a good shake-up, we daresay. A daub of revolutionary fervor. A dash of Lei Feng Spirit.
But why stop there? Why not go digital with all this disruption? And indeed, that’s exactly what the intelligent, winning blokes at the Cyberspace Administration of China have done with their latest untiring efforts to patch up even the tiniest of cracks in the country’s Great Firewall. The services that have long allowed expats and others to tunnel through China’s filtering systems are now being plugged one by one, which should finally give all those over-critical foreign journalists an opportunity to pull their eyes away from YouTube long enough to see how wrong they’ve been about absolutely everything in China.
That includes the economy, which we’ll remind you is humming along at an unimpeachable 7% growth and utterly, irrevocably on track to meet the annual growth goal for the same rate. That, of course, is thanks to the regulatory prowess of China’s central bank and sundry other regulatory bodies. No doubt, dear readers, you’ll have heard about the minor equities rout that ended up obliterating the entirety of the market’s gains this year. That was of course all according to plan, as authorities gracefully ended a buying program for troubled stocks after having created a new status quo of propped-up prices in recent weeks.
Then, even more gracefully, they stepped right back into the market late this week to push shares back up ahead of the previously mentioned military parade. No doubt some will say this smacks of amateurish financial understanding, as if there had been some sort of (purely hypothetical) mass exodus of qualified officials from the China Securities Regulatory Commission due to low pay and lack of professional advancement. But that would be ridiculous, dear readers. No regulator in its right mind would ever engage in such a tremendous waste of time and talent.
No, we’re certain the blame must lie elsewhere–perhaps with the US Fed, as one central bank researcher claimed this week. Surely, as no less a prestigious outfit than Xinhua has suggested, what the government really needs to do is “purify” China’s capital markets. No, we don’t know what that means either. But if the detainment of two top officials at the online arm of the party mouthpiece People’s Daily this week is any indication, it will at least provide an excuse for officials to look busy in the months ahead as corruption investigators continue probing their offices.