Xi Prepares to Eat Economic Bitterness

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
Sep 13, 2023 | Foreign Policy

China’s spiraling debt, high youth unemployment, and real estate insolvencies are, in President Xi Jinping’s mind, a symptom, rather than the cause, of China’s economic slowdown. He views these evils as an outgrowth of corrosive capitalist forces that have undermined China’s ideological cohesion. To withstand threats from China’s economic troubles, Xi focuses on security, suggests Craig Singleton in his article for Foreign Policy. China’s crisis of confidence has entered a new, self-reinforcing phase, in which Chinese consumers and businesses refuse to either spend or borrow because of uncertainty over the country’s economic trajectory. Meanwhile, direct investment by foreign companies has shrunk, largely because of concerns about Xi’s maximalist focus on national security. Western policymakers should recognise that Xi is charting a course for the long term and believes that a China returning to its “socialist roots” can replace the United States as the world’s dominant power. 


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