Li Zheng: The Squid Game and the competition between China and the United States in pursuit of common prosperity

2022-06-21 0 By

Li Zheng: “the squid games” competition and the pursuit of common prosperity of China and the United States the author: Li Zheng,, of the China institute of contemporary international relations in the United States the research assistant source: China and the United States focused WeChat platform editor: michelle, 2021 south Korean drama “squid” become a phenomenal film and television works, its influence beyond the category of cultural consumption, into a global discussion and reflection.The squid game is more sophisticated than the previous survivor game, with participants not having no choice but to join in under real-world pressures.Observers say the popularity of the squid Game is driven by the grim reality that the gap between the rich and the poor in western countries is widening and access to social mobility is blocked, which is an important backdrop to the bitter political infighting and rising populism in many developed countries.More than two decades of US-led neoliberal globalisation have led to the biggest redistribution of wealth and industry in the world for 100 years.Western multinationals have won the lion’s share of the profits, and developing countries have prospered.However, after the financial crisis, the unbalanced development brought by western globalization intensified, and all countries showed a trend of economic “de-realisation to virtual”.People are finding that the gap between rich and poor around them is becoming more widespread and severe.In the context of western countries generally pumping liquidity into the market to pull their economies out of trouble, capital gains grew significantly faster than labor gains.Low-income groups face rising living costs, while speculators, who have leveraged capital recklessly, have been the biggest beneficiaries of every government bailout.Since COVID-19, this global phenomenon has taken a more dangerous turn.The epidemic has affected ordinary people longer than the financial crisis, leaving more people living beyond their means, in debt and facing unprecedented mental stress.In Korea, the birthplace of the Squid Game, 40 percent of workers are employed part-time and do not receive adequate medical and pension benefits.That makes South Korea one of the countries with the highest suicide rates among the elderly.The situation in the United States and other Western countries is similar to that in South Korea, where violent robberies have increased significantly during the pandemic.The supporters of neoliberalism believe that the gap between the rich and the poor is a temporary phenomenon in market competition and will not affect the equal opportunities of individuals in market competition.But they underestimated the power of combining capital and technology.In the era of in-depth integration of information technology and globalization, data, algorithms and capital form a closer community, increasing the capacity of capital to shape society.Capital-driven algorithmic recommendation distorts market competition and wealth distribution, significantly reducing the chances that people at the bottom, who lack any resources, will get an upward path.This is the main background of the Chinese government’s efforts to promote common prosperity.In recent years, the Chinese people’s demand for housing, health care, education and other areas of well-being has significantly increased, and common prosperity has become a systematic strategy to address these development costs.Compared with the social equity policies adopted by some Western countries, China’s common prosperity has three characteristics.First, China stresses the importance of continuing to promote domestic development through development and globalization.Common prosperity is a long-term goal, not a fait accompli.The government estimates it will take 15 to 30 years to initially reach that goal.In the meantime, China still needs to upgrade its material base and technological capacity through modernization and further reform and opening-up.Common prosperity is the ultimate goal of the new round of reform and opening up and economic development, and the two are not contradictory.China will not follow western countries in adopting protectionist policies and preventing industrial relocation to “protect low and middle income groups”, nor will it blindly sacrifice development efficiency for the sake of equity.Second, China has emphasized setting “traffic lights” for capital to address the main causes of the wealth gap.Capital plays a positive role in production and innovation and is one of the important means to mobilize social resources allocation.But capital is neither omnipotent nor harmless, and its ability to reverse market and social order should not be underestimated.The common prosperity of China is not to oppose capital completely, but to set new rules and application paths for capital, and find a balance between the incentive role of capital and additional costs.It is the key point of China’s management capital to enter the field of people’s livelihood and prevent the price bubble in the field of people’s livelihood.Third, China emphasizes the use of sustainable development to guide values and consumption, so as to make affluence more friendly.As a country with 1.4 billion people, China’s pursuit of common prosperity is bound to have a far-reaching impact on the world and set a template for other developing countries with large populations.China faces more environmental and resource constraints in its development process, which makes it more aware of the degree of prosperity.The Chinese government advocates a simple, moderate, green and low-carbon lifestyle, and will not imitate the luxury and excessive consumption view of the United States.These differences make China pursue a common prosperity path different from that of the West, hoping to put forward a new Chinese solution through exploration.The plan is expected to compete with the Biden administration’s “Build a Better Future,” and lead the international community to focus on domestic livelihood development.This competition has just begun, and China and the United States cannot be separated in order.In order to better serve the construction of digital China and the construction of “The Belt and Road”, we should strengthen theoretical and practical exchanges in the process of the construction of digital economy.Experts and scholars from China’s digital economy and the belt and Road Initiative have set up a think tank on digital economy to contribute to the construction of digital China.Wei Jianguo, former Vice Minister of the Ministry of Commerce, served as the honorary president, with well-known young scholars huang Rihan and Chu Yin as the leaders.The Politics and International Relations Forum is a dedicated platform under the digital Economy think tank.