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China, a troubled giant, poses growing risk to the world

Facing growing frustration at home, Xi may be apt to act with least composure

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang at the closing session of the National People's Congress in Beijing on May 28: Xi and Li are said to be at odds over the economy.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- For people around the world, the spring of 2020 has not been a happy one. The coronavirus pandemic has so far killed an estimated 420,000 people and threatens the livelihoods of up to 1.6 billion.

China, where the pandemic began, has its own troubles. Top of the list is massive job losses. While the official unemployment rate in the country stands around 6%, that does not include people formally registered as living in rural areas. If migrant workers who have seen their jobs in cities disappear are included, the true joblessness figure jumps to around 20%, according to a private estimate.

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