Monday, August 24, 2015

Chinese adventurism?

China has a lot of serious problems right now: a slowing economy; a plunging stock market; an anti-corruption drive that seems to be causing some blowback in elite circles while weakening public confidence in the communist party. What can President Xi do?

In keeping with the title of this blog, I note that the head of the Council on Foreign Relations is warning that he might turn to foreign policy to distract his anxious citizenry.
"A slow-growth China would undermine the global economic recovery. It would be a less-willing partner in tackling global challenges such as climate change. Most dangerous of all, a struggling China could be tempted to turn to foreign adventurism to placate a public frustrated by slower economic growth and an absence of political freedom. Indeed, there are some signs that the authorities are doing just this in the South China Sea. Nationalism could become the primary source of legitimacy for a ruling party that can no longer point to a rapidly rising standard of living," writes CFR President Richard N. Haass in Project Syndicate.
Not a happy thought.

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