China's just-ended National People's Congress, its annual meeting of parliament, was held against the backdrop of the country's ongoing economic turbulence. How to cope with slowing growth was a main theme at the event. Regrettably, discussions largely steered clear of harsh realities, presumably because political stability was deemed more important.
The leadership maintains that China's economy is, on the whole, stable. But the data does not bear that out. New car sales in January and February tumbled 14.9%, for the eighth consecutive year-on-year contraction. Production and consumption remain stagnant, and there are concerns about employment.