In a startlingly frank acknowledgement, the ChiComs have acknowledged the fatal flaw of communism.

China has defended its refusal to lift pump prices to keep pace with rises in the global oil market over the last 12 months, saying further increases would damage local industries, the military and the economy.

Zhang Guobao, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, the chief economic planning body that is also responsible for energy policy, acknowledged that Chinese rises had been allowed to fall behind the world, but said the issue was “complicated”. ...

China, especially in the south, has experienced oil shortages in recent months, partly because of the NDRC’s price controls. The local oil majors all but stopped selling imported crude because of the huge losses they were incurring.

Mr Zhang said subsidising industry to alleviate the impact of price rises was also difficult. “Even if we had the money for the subsidies, it would be very complicated to decide how it should be divided up,” he said.

Complicated because a central planning office can never match the efficiency of a free market when it comes to allocating resources. That's what markets do.

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