oneill95Edwin RemsbergVWPicsUniversal Images Group via Getty Images_beijing street market Edwin RemsbergVWPicsUniversal Images Group via Getty Images

The Chinese Economy’s Great Wall

For better or worse, China and its economic policies now play a decisive role in the global economy, giving everyone an interest in its efforts to increase its own domestic consumption spending. But for China to reach its current growth targets, it will need to change its approach to the world.

LONDON – As we move through 2021, there are more signs of a return to pre-pandemic normalcy, at least in countries not reeling from dangerous new variants of the coronavirus. High-frequency economic indicators in many parts of the world are strengthening, concerns about mass unemployment are giving way to inflation fears, and the G7 has just held an in-person summit.

But there is a problem at the heart of the global economy: China’s interactions with the rest of the world appear to have taken a further negative turn because of the pandemic.

Having created the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) category in 2001, I have closely followed China’s ascent, and have come to be seen as a China bull. I became excited about the country’s economic potential in 1990, when I visited Beijing for the first time while working for the Swiss Bank Corporation. As I strolled the capital’s bustling street markets, I was surprised by how normal it felt. Might this supposedly “communist” country become a major force in the world economy?

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