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Things are not going quite to plan for Xi Jinping

The problem with authoritarian control is that when things go wrong you own the consequences

By George Magnus  

Photo: Pang Xinglei/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

It’s summer in China and, as usual, Beijing is hot and humid. The political climate is not dissimilar. According to recent stories emanating from the capital, not everyone in the Communist Party hierarchy is happy with Xi Jinping’s handling of the trade disputes with the United States. But disquiet goes further than this.

Remember that at last autumn’s 19th Party Congress, President Xi was almost deified, cast as one of China’s great leaders alongside Mao and Deng Xiaoping. Having already established strong control over the…

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