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HomeEconomyThis week’s cover | Apr 6th 2024 Edition

This week’s cover | Apr 6th 2024 Edition

THIS WEEK we had one worldwide cover. China’s famously industrious workforce is shrinking, its property boom has ended and the system of free trade that helped it grow rich is disintegrating.

However, Xi Jinping, China’s president, has a master plan. Branded “new productive forces”, this sets out to boost advanced manufacturing, in order to create high-productivity jobs, make China self-sufficient and put it beyond reach of American sanctions. There’s just one problem. It won’t work.

Two early designs illustrated different sides to Mr Xi’s cunning plan. At its best it’s a high-tech vision of the future, full of robots, AI and advanced materials. That’s why we had a pair of android hands creating a viewfinder, as if they belonged to a fancy film director. Less charitably, China’s president is pulling a rabbit out of a hat—and in the other image the magician’s hats were being stacked to make a millinery pagoda.

In reality, Mr Xi’s thinking is both visionary and magical, so we combined android hands, rabbit and hat in a single image.

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