If Xi Jinping had a theme song in China right now, for Eurasia Group analyst Anna Ashton it would be Canadian rapper Drake's "0 to 100." That's pretty much how fast he reversed course on zero-COVID.
And that explains why "Maximum Xi" — one man with total control over China — is Eurasia Group's No. 2 geopolitical risk for 2023.
The risk basically boils down to "maximum impunity and maximum potential mistakes," Ashton noted in a GZERO Live conversation about Eurasia Group's Top Risks 2023 report. In other words, China's leader is so powerful he won't be blamed for anything, even if he messes up badly.
Xi, she adds, is in a very strong position and Western media narratives that he was in trouble following protests over zero-COVID were overblown.
The US and China are moving into creating separate economic worlds for each other. And that won't be easy because the two economies are more closely linked than most people understand.
Watch the full live conversation: Top Risks 2023: A rogue Russia and autocrats threatening the world
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