With a fair amount of recent news relating to China, we plan to engage in a “survey” discussion of China. For example:
- Chinese protests. Do the recent protests against the Chinese government’s “zero Covid” policies pose a real risk to the government? In some quarters, the basis for the protests seems to have grown from anti-Covid-lockdowns to free speech.
- Will the protests continue to grow?
- Will the government’s relaxation of lockdowns in some cities encourage others to try the same protest strategy?
- Will the response be more carrot (relaxed lockdowns) or stick (references to Tiananmen Square)?
- Trade with China. With both the U.S. and, maybe, Europe becoming more concerned with China’s tendency to autocracy, treatment of the Uighurs, and aggressive commercial/trade stance, will it matter?
- Will trade with China decline (or at least level off)?
- Or will short-term economics continue to drive increasing trade with a blind eye to these other factors?
- Taiwan. Is Chinese action on Taiwan imminent (within the expected duration of Xi’s presidency)?
- How aggressively should the U.S. and its allies (both in Asia and Europe) prepare for this possibility (or take action to dissuade China from doing so?
- Russia. Should we be concerned about closer Sino-Russian relationships aligned against “Western values?”
- Or has Russia’s seemingly poor performance in Ukraine weakened the strength of any such bond?
I’m sure there will plenty of “grist for the mill” and discussion. As an aside, I’ll be joining quite late on Monday. So don’t wait for me!