If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans, so the joke goes. And the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has announced them loud and clear. In 2022, the CCP will celebrate its 20th National Congress, which is set to extend the mandate of General Secretary Xi Jinping. And to mark the occasion, it wanted economic stability. Instead, it is facing a series of challenges: an economic slowdown, the real estate crisis and now, the war in Ukraine. But worst of all is the economic impact of the coronavirus lockdowns that have been introduced under the government’s zero-Covid policy, and which affect a quarter of the population.

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