The Endgame Is Clear

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From Confucians to Consumers
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I think the endgame is pretty clear. The question is: When?

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<p>Look, I think the endgame is pretty clear. The question is: When? The day will come when China is a truly market-based, increasingly privately owned system. And it's very difficult to believe that a system like that could exist in a one-party political structure. I think as China evolves, especially as it brings that &quot;consumer piece&quot; into the equation -- and associated with that will be expanded aspirations of its population: more personal freedom to buy goods and services made and provided at home, as well as those provided through off-shore producers and vendors. With that personal freedom that comes with more of a consumer-led model, I think the political reform process will, most likely, accelerate. So in these first 30 years, where there's been a lot of state-owned enterprise reform, but the growth model has been focused so much on exports and export-led investment, that's not the strain of growth that necessarily requires a different political model. The next phase though, certainly suggests that adjustments in the political system would be increasingly inevitable.</p>
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Stephen Roach speculates about how China's growing consumer movement will affect political reform. He believes that in an increasingly privatized and consumer-based system, political reform would be increasingly inevitable.