See you in 2022.
News Items is off the grid, beginning right this minute. Distribution will resume on Monday, 3 January 2022. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all. Thank you for subscribing. And remember what they say: “the stocking stuffer of the year is just a click away.”
1. One look ahead, one look back (no paywalls): (1) The top twelve risks and the top twelve opportunities for 2022, according to The Atlantic Council. A probability score is attached to each. (2) Ten most significant world events in 2021, according to James Lindsay at The Council on Foreign Relations. (via atlanticcouncil.org, cfr.org)
2. Something unusual is occurring in China. This became evident when a commentary was published in the People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, without a single mention of Xi Jinping, the party's general secretary and nation's president. For an article titled "Learning deeply about the spirit of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party," one would assume Xi would be part of the discussion. After all, the four-day session held last month adopted a new "resolution on history" that showered praise on Xi. Instead, the commentary heaped praise on the late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, referring to him by name nine times. The reform and opening-up policy that Deng implemented in the 1970s was "a great awakening of the Party," the commentary says….The piece stops just short of lashing out at Mao's cult of personality -- a move that would have been, in effect, an implicit criticism of the concentration of power in Xi's hands. That the commentary also details the achievements by Xi's two predecessors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, both of whom remained on Deng's reform path, makes clear the point Qu was trying to make. Jiang and Hu made China the second-biggest economy, top exporter and the world's factory, Qu said. The article implies that since the Xi Jinping era began in 2012, China has lived on the leftovers from the wonderful feast prepared by Deng, Jiang and Hu. (via asia.nikkei.com)