Contrary to Western doom and gloom interpretations, China's two sessions now taking place in Beijing offer a fascinating mix of realpolitik and soft power. Every year, the two sessions involve the National People's Congress (NPC) - the legislative body - and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) - the political advisory body - laying down the Chinese equivalent of the state of the union. Premier Li Keqiang's report acknowledged that Beijing foresees "graver and more complex" risks and "both predictable and unpredictable" challenges, with the conclusion that China must be "prepared to fight tough battles" in 2019. It was undiluted realpolitik. An economic growth target in the range of 6.0% to 6.5% is still massive in terms of the expansion of global capitalism - irrespective of the usual suspects carping on about China "stalling" or mired "in deep crisis." A deficit-to-GDP ratio set at 2.8% - slightly higher than the 2.6% last year - is not exactly a problem...
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