East Asia Watch

China's woes look set to deepen in 2020

Ongoing issues such as tensions with the United States over trade and tech, elections in protest-ridden Hong Kong and defiant Taiwan, and a testy North Korea regime all add up to an uneasy year ahead for China

BEIJING • The year 2019 was the most testing and trying for Chinese President Xi Jinping since he assumed power about seven years ago. China grappled with a slowing economy, a difficult trade and technology war with what it perceives to be an increasingly hostile United States, an orgy of violence in Hong Kong and Western censure over mass detentions of Uighur Muslims.

Unbowed, the People's Republic of China marked its 70th founding anniversary on Oct 1 with the biggest military parade since the 1949 revolution. The Communist Party put on a brave face and issued a communique after a conclave of its ruling elite in October, underscoring the superiority of its political system in a clear sign China is not about to embrace liberal democracy.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2019, with the headline 'China's woes look set to deepen in 2020'. Subscribe