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2023 Predictions: What is China’s Future on the World Stage?

January 16, 2023 Leave a comment DRI Admin

The DRI International Future Vision Committee has released its 8th Annual Predictions Report, looking ahead to 2022 and its impact on the resilience community. Download the complete report free from the DRI Library, and read on for a prediction on China’s economic and political outlook.

Prediction 6: China will face a period of economic uncertainty and political unrest.

After decades of apparent stability, enforced by ever increasing authoritarianism and technical surveillance, it is possible that China miscalculated in extending heavy COVID-19 restrictions and created a new challenge to its authority and popularity. This was demonstrated by the rollback of some zero COVID-19 regulations in response to public protests. However, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will not voluntarily yield power. Certainly, any belief that social democracy can take hold is fanciful as demonstrated by the recent events in Hong Kong.

Despite this reality, uncertainty and discontent in China are increasing. The years of ultra-dynamic growth likely are over, and a series of social, mental health, and economic issues are impacting the Chinese population. Authorities will likely seek to suppress opposition, but a large-scale clamp down is unlikely given the importance of world opinion to Chinese trade.

It is possible that a distraction from these problems could be created by an attack on Taiwan (or at least the threat of one) as a means of mobilizing popular support at home. The rest of Asia is deeply concerned by these developments, not wanting to anger China but simultaneously preparing for the worst with greater militarization. Meanwhile, the decline of China’s economy will continue as international businesses leave and seek alternatives to Chinese-based manufacturing. Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia will benefit from this move.

Join us for DRI2023 in Austin, TX, Feb. 26 – Mar. 1, 2023, where Future Vision Committee Chair Lyndon Bird will lead an interactive session where participants will have the opportunity to vote on a number of the key issues which have emerged from the reports. Bird will respond to voting as it happens, providing instant feedback and opinion. Please come to this session ready to participate, debate, and even argue if you wish. Challenging and controversial opinions are welcome.

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