In China, there are two “different sets of books” depicting the state of the country’s economy. One set conforms to the official line promulgated by the ruling Communist Party, but it’s made up of fake data. This version is public. The other set contains the real data, but this set can only be accessed by Party officials or bought on the black market.
That’s according to Christopher Balding, who taught economics at Peking University Business School in Shenzhen for nine years, until 2018. That year, Balding lost his post at the university after voicing concerns about Beijing’s censorship practices. He then left China, citing concerns for his safety.
While most people are familiar with the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) top-down censorship constricting the populace’s freedom of expression and access to information, they may not realize the extent of the censorship within the regime’s sprawling bureaucracy itself, said Balding, who now resides in the United States.
“There is also enormous censorship … of how information gets conveyed upward,” he told EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program. “Nobody goes and tells their boss, ‘Hey, we had a bad year this year.’”
"Chairman Xi [Jinping] holds many titles…The only title that really matters is that he is the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party…Even the head of state is answerable to the [#CCP]."— American Thought Leaders 🇺🇸 with @JanJekielek (@AmThoughtLeader) October 25, 2021
Deep-dive w/ #China expert @BaldingsWorld
🔴WATCH on @EpochTVus: https://t.co/pnQCF6hkcZ pic.twitter.com/SRK3OxylWv
He stated that “there are absolutely different sets of books” concerning economic data in China.
Regional Chinese authorities have even admitted as much in recent years. In January 2017, authorities in northeastern China’s Liaoning Province admitted to inflating the province’s economic data from 2011 to 2014. A year later, a city in northern China’s Inner Mongolia revised its 2017 economic data after conceding that it had incorporated “fake additions.”
By Frank Fang and Jan Jekielek
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