The annual Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC) of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) was held from December 16-18. It gives broad indication of how China assesses its current economic situation and its priorities in the current year. 2021 is specially significant as it marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC. It is also the first year of the 14th Five-Year Plan, which must take into account not only the challenge of recovery from the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also of confronting a deeply uncertain outlook and likely turbulence in the external political and economic environment. Behind the somewhat boilerplate pronouncements, there are clear indications of what the Chinese leadership sees as strengths and vulnerabilities in the new year and beyond.
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