Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Xi Jinping. Credit: World Economic Forum/Manuel Lopez via Flickr Xi Jinping has botched the political business cycle. An effective leader — in China or elsewhere — will typically manipulate economic policy to create good short-term conditions and optimism in the run-up to an election or critical meeting. That was the case back in 2017, as Xi was able to push through some tough measures in 2016 before enjoying a smooth recovery in the run-up to the 19th Party Congress. Today, the situation is the reverse. As China approaches the 20th Party Congress on October 16, the Chinese economy is in its worst shape in recent memory. Some problems have been caused by exogenous, random shocks, but most of them can be directly or indirectly attributed to Xi himself. Thus, while Xi’s lock on power still seems unshakable, he will likely seek to placate that unknown — but large and growing — section of the Chinese population that is uncomfortable with his economic performance. We should anticipate that he will engineer a modest stSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.