Newsletter 129 - August 28, 2022
Welcome to the 129th edition of Trade War.
Get ready: with the 20th Party Congress coming soon, political prognostication is about to take off.
Erstwhile China bull issues mea culpa, now recognizes “ideological constraints on the economy.”
A review of personnel changes shows Xi has a “super majority” in next Politburo.
Open letter criticizes party’s "unlimited power.”
And China’s “radical secrecy” becoming a problem for the world.
*Beijing and Washington reach a deal on audits but will it hold?*
*China announces 19 measure stimulus but housing downturn continues to weigh on consumer confidence.*
*And add agriculture to supply chains, as the latest industry to be hit by the world’s most severe drought.*
Season for political prognostication
We are now moving into the season for political prognostication about China’s future.
—Who are Xi’s guys and will they continue to rise? (The top officials in China are almost exclusively male, in China’s particularly sexist political system).
—What will be the composition of the Politburo Standing Committee?
—And is premier Li Keqiang vying with Xi for his political future or does China’s top leader smoothly make the transition to an unprecedented third term?
“Don’t read the latest gossip about Li challenging Xi as anything more than gossip,” writes this newsletter’s author in SupChina.
“Over the last decade, Li has consistently been sidelined by Xi, who has effectively usurped even those powers traditionally held by the already less powerful number two premier, such as economic policy-making. Li simply has shown himself incapable of mounting any challenge to the unquestionably very powerful Xi.”
“Xi almost certainly will continue on to a third term, making history as the most powerful Chinese leader in generations. And if you’ve been put off by Xi’s heavy-handed approach to running the economy, well, get used to being uncomfortable for some time yet.”
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