The New York TimesThe New York Times

Why is China in so much trouble?

By Paul Krugman

01 Sep 2023 · 3 min read

informed Summary

  1. The narrative around China has quickly changed from unstoppable juggernaut to struggling giant. But that's not just down to recent events or the erratic leadership of Xi Jinping. Instead it's a culmination of long-standing economic issues and deep-seated ideological biases within China’s ruling party, argues the NYT's Paul Krugman.

The narrative about China has changed with stunning speed, from unstoppable juggernaut to pitiful, helpless giant. How did that happen?

My sense is that much writing about China puts too much weight on recent events and policy. Yes, Xi Jinping is an erratic leader. But China’s economic problems have been building for a long time. And while Xi’s failure to address these problems adequately no doubt reflects his personal limitations, it also reflects some deep ideological biases within China’s ruling party.

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