Vincent Boland: Is China edging towards a cautious embrace of the free market?

Developments in Beijing suggest that Xi Jinping’s administration is trying to engineer the economy’s reorientation from one development model to another without derailing it entirely

A pedestrian walks by an electronic screen displaying the stock figures for the top 10 turnover stocks on March 16, 2022 in Hong Kong, China. Picture: Getty

A few days ago, after months of turmoil in China’s financial markets, a senior economic policymaker and adviser to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership said something startling. Liu He, who chairs the country’s financial stability and development committee, said the party-state would “actively introduce policies that benefit markets”.

That is quite a statement from the CCP, which for four decades has enabled the most dramatic and successful economic transformation of a society in modern ...