China must develop its plans for the next five years and towards 2035, with an aspiration for national rejuvenation, in a much more hostile and uncertain external environment. A White House led by a less mercurial American president may make any China containment measures less confrontational, but they could be more effective. Understandably, Beijing has made domestic consumption a centrepiece of its “dual circulation” strategy.
The scale of China’s economy, unlike in Singapore or South Korea, means it cannot rely on exports forever. Domestic-oriented growth is feasible as China becomes the largest consumer market in the world.
From the China International Import Expo, which concluded in Shanghai on November 10, to the online shopping frenzy in the run-up to Singles’ Day, we are witnessing the tremendous potential and realization of Chinese consumer power.