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Chinese President Xi Jinping talked of risks comparabale to black swans and gray rhinos in a speech in January. (Nikkei montage/Getty Images/Reuters)
China up close

The cursed year: Xi and China brace for a wild 2019

Wars, riots and crackdowns have hit in jinxed '9' years

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

TOKYO -- In the highly superstitious world of China, where four is abhorred as an unlucky number but eight is coveted as auspicious, netizens are preoccupied with the significance of 2019. 

They are bracing for a turbulent 12 months, pointing to history which shows that since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the country has always experienced a major incident when the year ends in a "9." Many have involved violent turmoil.

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