Tokyo, January 23: Underlining the side effects of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “abrupt and extreme” policies, a report published in a Japanese daily said Xi himself is a risk to the Chinese economy.
This comes as experts say that weakening growth in the closing months of 2021 could cause trouble as China faces a worsening real estate crisis, the latest Covid outbreaks and the country’s strict no-tolerance approach to controlling the virus.
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Although last year’s growth figure is somewhat in line with the expectations. But, experts point out how China’s GDP expanded just 4 per cent in the last quarter of the year compared to a year prior, the slowest pace in a year and a half.
“If Xi fails to improve the economic situation by the Communist Party’s national congress in autumn, it could affect his power,” Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei Asia quoted a Chinese political source as saying.
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“Overconfidence is bad for China’s development,” said a Chinese economist after the latest gross domestic product figures were announced on Monday.
“Given the serious economic slowdown we are currently facing,” the economist said, “the day China surpasses the US is moving away, not coming closer.”
The Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER) last year had predicted that China’s nominal GDP will exceed the US’s in 2033, a total of five years later than its earlier forecast.
Previously, the same Japanese center had predicted China would overtake the US in terms of nominal GDP till 2028.
On the day when the news of China’s economic slowdown in the last quarter of 2021 was release, Xi delivered a speech at a World Economic Forum-related meeting, where he said, “Shifts in the domestic and international economic environment have brought tremendous pressure,” he said. “But… we have every confidence in the future of China’s economy.”
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