A Steady Slowdown

By Jonathan Fenby

Jonathan Fenby is one of the founders of Trusted Sources and leads the China team. He was formerly editor of the South China Morning Post and chief correspondent for both Reuters and The Economist, Assistant Editor for The Independent, Deputy Editor of The Guardian and Editor of The Observer. He has also written sixteen books, eight of them on China. His most recent book on China is Will China Dominate the 21st Century?

Going into the third year at the helm of the world’s second biggest economy, Chinese leader Xi Jinping faces perhaps the most daunting task of any world leader, aggravated by the recent downturn in the economy.

Markets and many foreign observers have been extraordinarily slow in picking up the fact that the world’s second biggest economy is slowing down. That has been the policy of the Bejing leadership for at least a year. The drop in growth so far does not betoken a crisis. But it does raise the basic question of whether the leadership of the second largest economy on earth can manage the need for change on a huge scale, which could jeopardise some of its basic political criteria.

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