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China’s abrupt abandonment of the zero-COVID strategy in the wake of mass protests in December has changed the outlook for China’s economy — and the world’s. Within a few weeks, hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens fell ill as the virus was allowed to spread out of control. More than 1 million people in China are expected to die from COVID-19, though Beijing’s obfuscation and deliberate underreporting means the true number may never be known.

The lockdowns and quarantine rules that have impeded economic activity within China and across its borders have ended, and as citizens lose their fear of COVID-19, much normal activity is likely to resume. However, households and firms will be cautious, having suffered severe financial losses during the lockdowns, and become acutely aware of the government’s newfound willingness to put the economy second. Other headwinds continue to blow: debt problems in the property sector, global uncertainty and commodity price shocks, and intensifying US efforts to cripple China’s economic development. All these questions have global ramifications.

A discussion between:

  • Rogier Creemers, University Lecturer in the Law and Governance of China, Leiden University; Oxford Analytica Region Head
  • Natalie Mrockova, Researcher & Lecturer, Merton College & Faculty of Law University of Oxford; Oxford Analytica Region Head
  • Benjamin Charlton, Senior Analyst, Asia Pacific, Oxford Analytica
  • Moderator: Nick Redman, Editor in Chief and Director of Analysis, Oxford Analytica

Download the webinar materials from Oxford Analytica’s webinar on February 15, where our experts addressed several questions:

  • Is economic recovery now assured, or could COVID-19 infections and other threats drag China down again?
  • What is the outlook for the Chinese high-tech industries under pressure from US export controls?
  • Will a Chinese ‘charm offensive’ succeed in winning back friends in the region and beyond?
  • Is there a risk that Beijing will try to distract a disgruntled public with adventurism vis-à-vis Taiwan?


Key takeawaysOn-demand recording
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