Finally, 2020 is behind us, and the fresh-start new year begins with rioters storming the US Capital. Sigh. How does China view this, we are asked. Those in Command, of course, welcome the end-of-Trump chaos and drama in Washington with maximum glee. It provides a spectacle that they can run and re-run, proving that the Western system, the US system in particular, is a mess. What about ordinary Chinese people? No survey results available, but our guess would be generally the same as people everywhere —sadness. The US has represented for so many people the shining City on the Hill, a standard to look up to and to strive for, but today, it is not so shiny.
Then again, optimism being what it is, Biden and America have the chance, thanks to this outrage, to remake, recover and recoup, turning away from the darkness. It will take a while for the world to trust in the American system again, thanks to Trump—his handling of the pandemic, his disdain for old alliances, and now his incitement to insurrection. But it’s not impossible. No other country has the ability to reinvent itself like the US, and its system has shown itself to work, to have the resilience to withstand the worst.
So, a massive propaganda win for these guys, and the year has started with a sense of optimism not only in Zhongnanhai, but also, it feels, amongst the middle class.
The EU and China agreed the basic terms of an investment agreement which has been under negotiation for seven long years, and the EU agreeing to it just before Biden took office is another big win, again driven no doubt by the scepticism generated in European capitals by Trump’s destructive policies over the past four years.
As for the middle class, there is a sense out there that asset values are going to rise this year, as the pandemic recedes and as central support for the Dual Circulation policy kicks in. The money gates are opening, and property and stocks in the China market feel like they are an “up”. Famous last words, of course, and don’t blame us if we’re wrong.
Meanwhile, keep warm and embrace the future.