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It’s not clear to me if Xijinping is simply jingoistic and incompetent or if there is a long game at work with respect to his economic policy. Making consistent headlines is his increasingly hostile attitude toward foreign business. Sizing this up:

  • Rapidly aging population
  • Failed belt and road initiative due to aggressive loans to generally not stable countries has lead to said countries frequently defaulting
  • Collapsed real estate market
  • Crackdown on tech sector with accompanying crash in white collar jobs
  • High youth unemployment leading not only to the immediate problems that causes but also youth not building the requisite job experience to advance
  • Questionable national infrastructure projects (ex: highly unprofitable high speed rail)
  • Increased military spending
  • Economic isolation by other countries (ex: chip act)
  • Devastating consequences of zero COVID policies
  • Declining foreign investment
  • Massively increase government control of production with all of the detrimental effects that come from government planning
  • Disappearing CEOs/business leadership that are politically threatening

Is there an economic angle available here that makes these decisions sensible in a long term, strategic, sense? Specifically with regard to the general theme of:

  • Increased government control despite detrimental consequences
  • Deliberate suppression of innovation
  • Antagonistic stance towards his own country’s wealthiest investors
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