Comments on Susan Shirk "Can China’s leaders harness support for change?", 25/10/2013, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/10/23/can-chinas-leaders-harness-support-for-change/
My feel is that it should be fairly easy to have the support of the vast majority of the Chinese people for further and sensible economic reforms, perhaps easier than it was 3 decades ago, when it was so difficult for people to struggle between the planning system and a market system, so that Deng invented the phrase “cross rivers through touching stones” and used that gradual approach to carry out reforms.
Nowadays, the market system has been almost fully embraced by the nation (apart from perhaps some of the monopoly state owned firms) and many people are currently the victim of monopolies as well as some economic policies including macroeconomic policies that give preferential treatment of the state monopolies at the expense of the vast majority of the people, such as low deposit rate and high lending rate with state owned firms treated favourably, the restrictive household registration system, the monopolistic pricing by state owned firms, etc.
Given there are high ranking officials in or associate with some state owned firms under investigations or prosecutions for corruptions or bribery or some misbehaviours, the resistance from vested interests in state owned big firms may not be as strong as many people thought.
There should also be real decentralisation in fiscal powers from the central to local governments, and at the same time to move the ocal government away from excessively relying on revenue from land sales and the use of grey banking for their finance.
However, any further reforms must have a focus of economy wide benefits and national interests that may mean starting with lifting
any restrictions for domestic players as the first step.