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Yesterday’s blockbuster column in Nikkei touched on some sensitive issues in China. The weekly column on China from Katsuji Nakazawa has a mixed history but if this one is true, it would mean that Xi Jinping is under some real pressure.

The column argues that Xi’s absence at the G20 came after he was censured at a Beidaihe by party elders who said that if political, economic and social turmoil continues without any effective countermeasures being taken, the party could lose public support.

Sources said that at this year’s gathering, a group of retired party
elders reprimanded the top leader in ways they had not until now. Xi
later expressed his frustration to his closest aides, according to the
information gathered.

The central figure was Zeng Qinghong, a former vice president and one of the closest aides to the late former President Jiang.

Another worry about the G20 is that leaders at the event may blame China for sluggish global growth and that would be seen as an insult to Xi and cause him to lose face. Even taking questions about Chinese economic performance could be seen as a slight.

In any case, pressure on the yuan returned this week and later we get Chinese August trade data. The previous report was one that set off major alarm bells about the Chinese economy.

This article was written by Adam Button at


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