Beijing has admitted failure, even if it refuses to use the word. This is actually the second such confession in the past six months.
The first one came earlier this year when Beijing rescinded the lockdowns and quarantines that were the signal parts of its “zero-COVID” campaign. Party leadership had hoped that freeing people up to travel and spend would jumpstart China’s moribund economy. Even amid such hopes, the country’s leadership set itself a low 5 percent growth target for 2023, far below pre-COVID-19 averages.
For a brief while, consumer spending took off. Even though signs of weakness lurked behind the headlines, some, especially Beijing, contended that the new policies would work out for the economy. Now that those once-hidden economic weaknesses have become more evident, Beijing has had to roll out a new stimulus package and, in doing so, admit, at least implicitly, that the original policy had failed….