Summary

There can be no doubt that China is in the midst of economic and ideological flux. Gone is the deferential ‘peaceful rise’ of old, replaced with the more assertive policies expected of an increasingly global military power. Gone too is the supply side-focused and debt-fuelled model of economic growth – at least in theory – with Party officials now promising ‘common prosperity’ as a byword for a more equitable growth model based on domestic consumption and wealth redistribution. Yet numerous challenges loom in 2022 ,which together may slow or even reverse this supposed transition: global trade slowdowns, the omicron variant, the Winter Olympics, a reeling property sector, electricity production shortfalls, and an ever-growing debt balloon. Will Beijing succeed in staying the course?