If the most important development of 2024 will be the wave of elections sweeping the democratic world, the second-most important story to watch is China’s economy. It boils down to two questions: What is it that has steeled Xi Jinping’s nerve to drive China into this—possibly necessary—economic turmoil, and can he keep his resolve over the next 12 months?
The deterioration of the Chinese economy is, perhaps surprisingly for anything involving China, reasonably well understood. The country has never recovered from the twin shocks of a Beijing-induced property-market slowdown and the draconian (and failed) zero-Covid policy of the pandemic era.
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