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China plays down hopes for ‘strong medicine’ at top economic policy meeting

Peng, an employee at a Chinese state-owned media outlet in Beijing, is reeling after being forced to take her second pay cut in less than a year, as the country’s economic weakness hits even its government enterprises.

“I can barely live on this,” she complained. “The work keeps increasing, but the money keeps decreasing.”

Peng’s situation, which is mirrored across China as the economy struggles to recover from a property crisis and the pandemic, illustrates the challenges facing President Xi Jinping’s government as it prepares to hold one of the Communist party’s most important quinquennial meetings this month.

In the past, the Chinese Communist party has used the third plenary session of its central committee, its elite leadership body, to address the most important economic issues of the day. In 1978, Deng Xiaoping used the meeting to launch China’s post-Mao…

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