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A sober message from China’s National People’s Congress

There is no denying it has been a difficult 12 months for Beijing

By George Magnus  

The Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: Zhang Ling/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

It was Premier Li Keqiang’s big moment, especially given his rather diminished role in Xi Jinping’s China. The Work Report is the premier’s responsibility to deliver, and when he addressed roughly 3,000 delegates at the National People’s Congress (NPC) earlier this week, he warned them “we must be fully prepared for a tough struggle,” and “the difficulties we face must not be underestimated.” This was an unusually downbeat message to share with Party cadres. As we know,…

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