Enemies Circling China’s Xi? New Statesman

The Covid-19 pandemic is roiling governments around the globe, even China, despite a propaganda push that maintains China contained the virus with success. After centralizing control, China’s President Xi Jinping can expect to bear responsibility for pandemic-related challenges, including high debt levels, unemployment, an aging population and families hesitant to have more than one child, stalled productivity, and a collapsed export market. “Pushback against the Chinese leadership abroad is quite transparent and patently rising, but domestic opposition is more intriguing because it is so opaque and hard to evaluate,” explains George Magnus for New Statesman. “Centralisation of power and authority have been key to China’s coronavirus response, including cranking up medical equipment supplies at home and overseas. Tools of social control using AI, the social credit system and new health-related apps have played a major role.” Reduced transparency lessens public awareness and eliminates valuable public feedback. Magnus points out that the government investigates critics and has punished more than a million party members. For Xi and many other leaders, political futures rest on avoiding a second wave of infections. He concludes, “Domestic opposition to Xi might crystallise more if only there were a united and orchestrated Western counter to China’s bid to shape global institutions and nations according to its own standards and values.” – YaleGlobal

Enemies Circling China’s Xi? New Statesman

Criticism of Beijing’s response to Covid-19 – with crackdowns on health providers and the media – has exposed cracks in the Communist Party’s authority
George Magnus
Friday, April 24, 2020

Read the article from New Statesman about internal and external concerns in governance in China.

George Magnus is the author of Red Flags: Why Xi’s China is in Jeopardy, and research associate at Oxford University’s China Centre and at SOAS.

Also read the IMF World Economic Outlook, Chapter 1, released in early April:

“There is extreme uncertainty around the global growth forecast. The economic fallout depends on factors that interact in ways that are hard to predict, including the pathway of the pandemic, the intensity and efficacy of containment efforts, the extent of supply disruptions, the repercussions of the dramatic tightening in global financial market conditions, shifts in spending patterns, behavioral changes (such as people avoiding shopping malls and public transportation), confidence effects, and volatile commodity prices. Many countries face a multi-layered crisis comprising a health shock, domestic economic disruptions, plummeting external demand, capital flow reversals, and a collapse in commodity prices. Risks of a worse outcome predominate.”

IMF: Projected Change in Economic Growth, 2020 	 Euro Area	-8% UK	-7% US	-6% Russia	-6% Japan	-5% Latin America	-5% World	-3% Middle East	-3% China	1% India	2%.  Assumptions: ● established policies of national authorities will be maintained  ● average price of oil will be $35.61 a barrel in 2020  ●pandemic fades in second half of 2020, with gradual lifting of containment measures
Challenge for leaders: Poor growth prospects will challenge leaders, and some IMF assumptions are already in question with a  baseline scenario that assumes that the pandemic subsides in the second half of 2020 and containment efforts can be gradually unwound (Source: IMF)

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