Xi Jinping is considered China’s most powerful ruler since Mao. Nevertheless, the Chinese leader seems more battered than ever. Because problems are piling up in front of him. He himself created many.
“Down to CP!” and “Down with Xi Jinping!”, shouted angry crowds on the streets of Shanghai in November. At this stage, it has been a month since Xi Jinping was elected as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China for the third consecutive term. Age limits cannot stop till 69 years of age, nor is there a term limit. Xi took his position A powerful ruler of China Since it was Mao Zedong who founded the People’s Republic, it is said later.
Nevertheless, the Chinese leader seems more battered than ever. Because he faces a huge mountain of problems, most of them of his own making. China’s economy is faltering, government revenues are falling, and unemployment is rising, especially among young people. A best friend is a warmonger. The most important problem is still the Corona situation.
Zero covid slows economy
After that, huge protests take place 1989 Tiananmen Massacre Shi also bent. In early December, Beijing announced an easing of quarantine, PCR tests and lockdowns. A logical decision if you want to prevent escalation, but ultimately simple economics: sealing off blocks of houses, conducting mass testing and feeding millions of people costs manpower and money. If factories are closed and workers are stuck at home at the same time, nothing new will enter the coffers.
The zero-covid policy is a costly endeavor and has caused serious damage to the Chinese economy, agrees Jürgen Mathes of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. Economist said it was badly kneed in November NTV. “The most recent forecast that the economy would grow by 3.3 percent this year is out of date. The Communist Party’s reaction to this is: economic weakness and protests.”
A huge deficit
In November, China delivered its worst trade data in more than two years. Overseas deliveries were down 8.7 percent from last year. These are all astonishing figures, as the Christmas business starts in November and the overseas trade of the export world champion is really booming.
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However, the development was not surprising: it was before Xi imposed strict lockdowns on the economy in Shanghai, or the financial centre “iPhone-City” After badly damaging Zhengzhou, he led a crackdown against the victors last year Tech companies like Alibaba, Didi or Tencent. As a result, their stock prices fell on global stock markets, earnings fell and jobs were lost.
The Chinese real estate sector faced a similar situation a year ago. When the bubble there burst, one building giant after another could own it Non-repayment of loans. Apartments that had already been paid for were not completed and the shells were torn again. Now Beijing has to deal with heavily indebted domestic companies “Detailed Help” Recovery. This year, China will run its largest budget deficit in decades. According to financial portal Bloomberg, it was already from January to September $980 billion.
“Sorry, I’m unemployed”
Construction sites have a huge impact on the job market. Last May, then Prime Minister Li Keqiang issued a warning “complicated and dull” A situation where young people are especially vulnerable. About 20 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds are unemployed, says Georg Woodke on the NTV podcast “Learned Ain.” Those are official figures, explains the head of the European Chamber of Commerce in China. It is very possible that every third young person is unemployed.
“Certainly, in a society with a one-child policy, it’s devastating,” says Woodke. “Four grandparents and two parents look at the offspring, on whom the future of the family depends, and then they have to say: I’m sorry, I’ve been harassed for 15, 16 or 17 years, but now I’m unemployed or I have a job carrying a few bottles back and forth. Total disappointment. “
New Silk Road for Boomerang
The financial situation is complicated not only at home. In early July, the “Financial Times” reported China’s First Debt Crisis Abroad reported. Because the New Silk Road seems to be turning into a boomerang. A few years ago, there were still fears that China might help developing countries with generous loans for new trade routes and infrastructure. Depend on themThe opposite seems to be happening now: mainly because of the Corona crisis many partners can no longer repay their loans – and this is costing China a lot of money.
According to the Financial Times, more than $52 billion worth of loans will need to be reviewed and restructured in 2020 and 2021. Partner countries received long maturities at low interest rates in the hope that ports, rail links or other infrastructure projects could still be completed in Sri Lanka, Zambia or Pakistan. In many cases, China had to add more money because everything was already spent.
A financial force that has become increasingly problematic in countries like Pakistan: Chinese labor is on the rise A target of terrorist attacks and kidnappings. Because they promise high ransoms or symbolize corruption and Chinese influence in partner countries. Francesca Gretti of the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERIX) in Berlin says China needs to plan for the risk of terrorism when funding these projects.
What to do if Corona comes fast?
Now the easing of the zero-covid policy should give some momentum back to the sluggish Chinese economy: without lockdowns, factories can once again work at full speed and fill the coffers – at least Beijing hopes. But if the omicron variant rushes through China, it could backfire, warn observers such as Jürgen Matthäus of the Institute for the World Economy. Continued easing would be good for China and the global economy, he says on NTV. “But there is a risk that the number of infections will increase so much, the hospitals will be overwhelmed. Then there may be a more severe lockdown.”
Overall, China has a high vaccination rate. But especially the most threatened ones Older people Spades are mostly forgotten: Officially, 86.4 percent of people over 60 were vaccinated at least twice in November. Two-thirds received a booster. Many are still skeptical because they don’t believe in vaccines — a problem Xi Jinping is partly responsible for: he received mRNA funding from Biotech and Moderna last year from state media. Transfiguration Venom Injection to allow
After covid zero, omicron wave is now rolling in China. Chinese health officials expect that 80 to 90 percent of the population of 1.4 billion will eventually become infected. Many people come into contact with the coronavirus for the first time after nearly three years of strict protection measures, so they are at a higher risk of ending up in hospital. at Intensive care beds However, China lags far behind other Asian countries such as Taiwan or Thailand. Compared to Germany, there are only half as many Hospital beds per 10,000 people. Mao became the most powerful man in China after facing a new challenge.
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