After The Olympics: The World in 2009

The Economist released its annual predictions and insights for “The World in 2009”. Here is a summary of what the magazine foresees for China’s new agenda:

– Policymakers will “strive to prevent economic growth from slowing too fast while curbing inflation” in accordance with the current stock market decline

– The 20 year anniversary of the Tiananmen Square uprising will bring new demands for political change, both internally and externally. Internally will be the official 30 year commemorations of China’s “reform and opening” policy, and externally we’ll see hints at new reforms for the state media.

– With the conclusion of the Olympics, there may be some political loosening. With the burden of feeling “constrained by a need to demonstrate a unity or purpose” alleviated, “the result could be a year of greater social turbulence.”

– China’s relations with Taiwan will continue along its current path with “Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou continu[ing] the efforts he has been making since his inauguration in May 2008 to defuse tensions with the mainland.”

– Relations with Tibet will be particularly restless. As the 50th anniversary of the March 10th uprising comes closer, The Economist predicts there will be “recriminations” between China and the West if China cracks down on Tibetans’ efforts to mark the date.

– January 1st will mark a new law taking effect that requires industries to cut water consumption and use more “clean energy” to promote a more “pro-green” image, but it will be “will be very reluctant to pledge any specific targets for cuts in carbon emissions” at the November 2009 meeting in Copenhagen.

– China, with the help of Russia, may also send a probe to Mars in the later half of 2009.


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