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Will China’s Economy be Revived After the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Tom Clifford

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There are no signed documents. The agreement, or grand bargain, was not recorded in any physical form. But it shaped China, and through it the world. It was the cornerstone of Deng Xiaoping’s post-Mao Zedong reforms. Stay out of politics, the Chinese people were told, and the party will enrich you.

The Chinese Communist Party kept their side of the bargain, ensuring that the people had greater economic freedom and rising standards of living. It worked, beyond the party’s wildest dreams. More people benefitted over a shorter period than ever before in human history.

But President Xi Jinping, when he came to power in November 2012, believed that the party was getting soft. Too many cadres were used to the high life, had lost .....