Chinese lifeline?

Could China’s BRI regain momentum in Africa?

By Harry Clynch

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Posted on October 18, 2022 15:36

Opening ceremony of Chinese Communist Party Congress
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for the opening ceremony of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 16, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

The 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) opened over the weekend in Beijing. The quinquennial event is a high-profile meeting of the CCP’s leading party members and a public forum for leadership and constitutional changes, as well as shifts in policy direction. At this year’s Congress, it’s widely expected that President Xi Jinping will oversee a significant change in China’s economic strategy, which could have significant consequences for many African countries, particularly those involved in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The incumbent economic czar, Liu He, is set to announce his retirement at this year’s Congress, leaving a vacancy and the possibility of change. The 70-year-old is seen in Beijing as relatively fiscally conservative.

He has frequently emphasised the need to reduce spending and debt, and prioritise “quality” economic development over fast growth. 

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