Daily Memo: China’s 5-Year Plan, Time’s Up in Belarus

The Chinese Communist Party's plenum will tell us much about what's keeping Beijing's leaders up at night.

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China’s next five-year economic playbook. The Fifth Plenum of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee kicked off on Monday morning, with Chinese leaders gathering to, among other things, hammer out the country’s next five-year economic plan. While in most countries, long-term plans are aspirational documents worth little, in China they serve as marching orders for the vast machinery of the state and actually tell us what to expect in terms of where subsidies will be flowing and what concerns are keeping Chinese leaders awake at night. Expect a heavy emphasis on boosting internal consumption, shielding the Chinese economy from both external pressures and internal financial risks, and making a great leap forward in technological indigenization. Belarus’ ultimatum. The Belarusian opposition’s deadline for President Alexander Lukahsenko to step aside expired on Sunday night, leading his opponents to call a general strike beginning Monday. Reports conflict on whether those calls were heeded: Some Belarusian media say workers at the largest Belarusian enterprises (as well as students and pensioners) are protesting, while the government says factories are running normally. On Sunday, at least 100,000 people are estimated to have participated in protests, with government forces detaining nearly 300 of them and using stun grenades […]

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