Worst case scenario
Some fairly sobering commentary coming from Beijing last week with the latest headlines saying “China’s economic strategy shift shows Xi Jinping is preparing for the ‘worst case scenario’” and China is “pursuing a new development plan in which ‘domestic circulation plays the dominant role’”. It’s not unusual to see these kind of quotes coming from commentators, analysts and ‘China watchers’ but it is very unusual to hear them made by President Xi himself.
In comments published by the official Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese president said “for the future, we must treat domestic demand as the starting point and foothold as we accelerate the building of a complete domestic consumption system, and greatly promote innovation in science, technology and other areas”. This would suggest an end to China’s “going out” strategy which has been a strong catalyst in fuelling growth around the world over the past two decades.
According to the SCMP, “Xi’s speech on Saturday offered the clearest clues so far regarding the Chinese leader’s thinking on economic strategies in response to Washington’s decoupling threats. According to Xi, China faces unfavourable winds in the outside world, including a deep recession in the global economy, disruptions to international trade and investments, ‘rampant protectionism and unilateralism’ and geopolitical risks. ‘We now have to seek development in a more unstable and uncertain world’ Xi said”.