Beijing Can't Even Control Beijing
Attempts by Beijing city authorities to reduce the population in the city’s six bustling downtown districts have failed to meet annual targets despite the relocation of dozens of markets and the shuttering of hundreds of schools for migrant children.
Official records show that the number of residents in the capital’s six overcrowded central districts in the first nine months fell by 96,000, one-fourth the annual target, Lu Yan, head of the Beijing Municipal Commission for Development and Reform, told The Beijing News.
Authorities have tried to push out low-income migrant workers from the city center as part of its efforts to cap the Chinese capital’s population at 23 million residents by 2020.
I don’t post this to mock Beijing, it’s actually not a bad first start considering the difficulty of the situation. It’s also a great study in Chinese culture: most of the policies are aimed at shutting schools, making it harder for migrants to enter schools and freezing college enrollment.
The key statistic: “70% of migrant children whose schools were shut down chose to stay in Beijing with their parents even though they had no place to study.”
Remember this when someone tells you China can stop currency outflows and control the value of the yuan.
The biggest risk for financial markets isn’t that Beijing can’t control the economy, it’s that so many people still believe it can.