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China's COVID lockdowns made its people depressed and hurt its economy
China's COVID lockdowns made its people depressed & hurt its economy | GZERO World

China's COVID lockdowns made its people depressed and hurt its economy

China’s economy keeps slowing down, and that could be a problem for the rest of the world.

On GZERO World, Shaun Rein, founder and managing director of the China Market Research Group, sits down with Ian Bremmer to explain why he’s become bearish on China’s economic outlook.

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China’s economy in trouble
- YouTube

China’s economy in trouble

China’s economy has averaged about 10% annual growth year over year for the past four decades. It’s undoubtedly the biggest economic success story of our lifetime, but how long can that last?

Shaun Rein, founder and managing director of the Shanghai-based China Market Research Group, sits down with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to talk China's post-COVID recovery, Xi's crackdown on the private sector, and why the last year has turned him from a bull to a bear on China's economic outlook.

Annual GDP growth has been on a relative decline since 2010, barring a big jump coming out of the pandemic. Decades of infrastructure investment have left local governments drowning in debt. Almost three years of zero-COVID politics ground China’s economy to a halt. Youth unemployment is surging to record highs and expected to keep climbing.

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Podcast: China's great economic slowdown

Transcript

Listen: China is undoubtedly the biggest economic success story of our lifetime.

Between 1978 and 2017, China averaged almost 10% year-over-year GDP growth. Decades of pro-investment policies transformed China from a closed, centrally-planned economy to an economic powerhouse that could rival the US.

But in the last decade, Chinese President Xi Jinping has been moving the country back to its socialist roots, with major crackdowns in tech, real estate, and foreign investment. Xi’s vision is one of almost total state control, where businesses conform to the goals of the Chinese Communist Party, not the other way around.

Can communist ideology mixed with capitalist ambition sustain growth into the future? Is Xi setting up China for another four decades of economic success? And what do China’s citizens make of its return to socialist roots?

To discuss all that and more on the GZERO World podcast, Ian Bremmer sits down with Shaun Rein, Founder and Managing Director of the China Market Research Group, based in Shanghai.

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Ian Explains: Why China’s era of high growth is over
Ian Explains: Why China’s era of high growth is over | GZERO World

Ian Explains: Why China’s era of high growth is over

Is China still on track to becoming the world’s largest economy? Ian Bremmer breaks down China’s great economic slowdown.

Between 1978 and 2017, China averaged almost 10% year-over-year GDP growth. Decades of pro-investment policies transformed China from a closed, centrally-planned economy to an economic powerhouse that could rival the US.

Read moreShow less
Silicon Valley Bank collapse: Not 2008 all over again
Silicon Valley Bank collapse isn't the same as 2008 financial crisis | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Silicon Valley Bank collapse: Not 2008 all over again

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

With the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, is it 2008 all over again?

There's one very clear way that it's not, which is that it's not a big enough crisis for people to come together. And remember, after 2008, everyone understood that we needed to do everything possible to get the markets functioning, get trust in the system again, and avoid a great depression. Nobody's saying that right now. And it's not just because the US political system is more divided, it's also because people feel like it's fine to go after the "woke" banks. It's fine to go after the Trump era deregulation around the medium size banks. And everyone can point at their favorite villain while you don't really need to do a hell of a lot beyond the bazooka that Secretary Yellen threw at SVB and Signature Bank this weekend. So no, in that regard, it's very much not 2008 all over again. In some ways I'm happy about that and other ways I'm not.

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A motorist rides past a hoarding decorated with flowers to welcome G20 foreign ministers in New Delhi, India, March 1, 2023.

REUTERS/Amit Dave

What We’re Watching: Tense G-20 talks in India, Finland’s fence-building, China’s economic activity, Chicago’s mayoral runoff

An awkward G-20 summit in Delhi

When G-20 foreign ministers met in New Delhi on Thursday, it was, as expected, an awkward affair. While India, the current G-20 chair, had hoped that the bloc would focus on issues of importance to the Global South, like climate change and the global food crisis, the agenda was disrupted by US-Russia bickering over the war in Ukraine, which US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called "unprovoked and unjustified war", while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blamed the West for not doing enough to extend a deal to allow Ukrainian grain exports that will soon expire. Of course, focusing on anything else was going to be a tall order when the top diplomats of the US, China, and Russia were all in the same room. (President Biden and Xi Jinping last met at the G-20 summit in Bali in November, though there was no bilateral meeting between the US and Russia.) In a sign of how fractured Washington's relationship remains with these two states, Blinken on Wednesday again urged Beijing not to send lethal weapons to Russia and canned China’s peace plan for Ukraine. As for US-Russia relations … need we say more? India, which has gone to painstaking lengths to maintain its neutral status over the past year, says it thinks the group can get stuff done. But at a meeting last month of G-20 financial heads, the group couldn’t even agree on a joint statement.

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A person wearing a protective suit sits in the Beijing Railway Station after China lifted its COVID-19 restrictions in Beijing, January 20, 2023.

REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Hard Numbers: China zeroes out zero, German tanks run low, Turkey jails a journalist, Greek train crash, police find ‘spiritual girlfriend’ in Peru

0 x 0: Remember China’s zero-Covid strategy? No you don’t, at least not if you’re the Chinese Communist Party, which is now aggressively zeroing out public mentions of the draconian lockdowns that kneecapped the country’s economy and provoked rare widespread protests against Xi Jinping. Here’s our own portrait of zero-Covid life from last spring.

62: Despite promising to give tanks to Kyiv, Germany and other NATO allies have struggled to rustle up enough of them — 62 to be precise — to fill two Ukrainian battalions worth. Part of the problem is that no one on the continent has planned for a major European land war in 30 years, so tanks, parts, and trainers are limited.

10: Turkey has sentenced a journalist to 10 months in prison for posting an unsubstantiated allegation that police officers and soldiers had sexually assaulted a young girl. This is the first jail term handed down under a new law meant to combat disinformation that critics fear will be used to stifle criticism of the government.

36: A train collision has killed at least 36 and injured dozens more near the city of Larissa in northern Greece. Railway employees reported that there were issues with electric coordination of traffic control, despite recent modernization of Greece’s railway system, which is operated by Italy’s state-owned railway company Ferrovie dello Stato Italiene.

1.5: The sentence you are about to read does not end the way you think it will: Police searching a delivery man who was acting drunk at a Peruvian archaeological site found in his backpack a 1.5-meter tall pre-hispanic mummy named “Juanita.” He said the mummy, which once belonged to his dad, lives with him as “a kind of spiritual girlfriend.” We love this LatAm remake of "Fin de Semana at Bernie’s.

Former United States President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at Mar-a-Lago in 2020.

Reuters

What We’re Watching: Bolsonaro skipping town, Putin’s New Year’s gift, Vietnam’s growth, a bit of Xi & Putin face time

Bolsonaro takes off, Lula takes charge

On Sunday, left-wing former president Luiz "Lula” Inacio da Silva will once again be sworn in as Brazil’s president, a post he last held from 2003 to 2010. Hundreds of dignitaries will attend the ceremony in Brasilia, save for one very important person: Brazil’s outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro. The right-wing incumbent will be spending New Year’s Eve in Florida with someone who loves him — former US President Donald Trump. What signal does this send? Bolsonaro has suggested that the bitterly fought election against his nemesis Lula was unfair, and he has done little to stop his supporters from protesting to that effect, sometimes violently. Will his decision to skip the festivities quell concerns about a possible January 6 event in Brazil, or will his supporters read his decision to watch from Mar-a-Lago as a signal that the entire inauguration is illegitimate, fueling more anger as Lula takes power? Ever since the election, Bolsonaro and his team have been in close touch with Trump about next steps. On Sunday, we’ll be watching Lula, of course, but we’ll also be watching Bolsonaro’s supporters watching him watching Trump.

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