As the rest of world grapples with the full ferocity of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a key moment in Beijing’s political calendar opened with a sense of sobriety in early March. China’s annual National People’s Congress took place as the country’s projected growth of GDP hovered at around 5.5 per cent – the lowest point in the past three decades.
This year’s congress marks the beginning of President Xi Jinping’s campaign for a third term in office under the slogan ‘achieving common prosperity’. The phrase was rarely mentioned during this week-long political conclave, however. So far, Xi has arrived at the right diagnosis but failed to find the right path to advance ‘common prosperity’.