China relies on the animal's good omens in the new year

The People's Republic is no longer the place revered by the West, where everything always went well and great deeds were done. It is now a competitor, and as a more mature economy it faces serious challenges such as the real estate crisis or aging. Dragon comes to the rescue…It is a very positive animal in the Chinese zodiac, endowed with strength and power.

The scene these days in Beijing Radically different from the rest of the year. Dark and silent streets in the evening, empty. The shops are closed with a sign saying “We will be back in a few days.” We are in the spring festival, Cheonji, which is known here as the Lunar New Year.

It's the perfect annual holiday period. Workers and families go to their home provinces for a wonderful reunion with ancestors. It is estimated that he will be there throughout this period About 9000 million trips. It's tradition.

But times are changing. the Qin Lan He is 28 years old, studied robotics and in recent years worked in Beijing at a technology company. Good salary and more demanding schedules.

The first day of the new lunar mission to Shanghai (Reuters/Nikoko Chan)

With the Year of the Dragon, instead of going to her home village or town, her parents come to see her. He spends these days with them in the capital, and after the vacation they will return together to Sichuan, where the company has found a less stressful workplace for him.

“I think my life's happiness index will be higher,” Chen Lan says in a relaxed conversation in the south of the capital. “I can give up the high wages in Beijing and some better opportunities. You can't have everything.” A mall where families do their final shopping for the New Year, including the bunches of red leaves that decorate the doors of Chinese homes during the holiday season.

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Chen believes that most people leave Beijing not because they want a life away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, but because… They simply don't make it to the end of the month:

“You can't afford high house prices, and wages aren't up to par.”

Rents are sky high The difficulty of obtaining residency in Beijing is forcing many workers and professionals – a growing population coming from other cities and provinces – to leave.

From the epidemic to the economy

This is the The first Chinese New Year completely free of the epidemic. Last year, the Year of the Rabbit, there were no longer any restrictions on… Zero Covid policyBut China was going through the worst wave of infections and the death of many of the elderly, the weaker, even if the micronized variant was less lethal.

This year, they're really fighting Holiday travel records inside and outside ChinaThe main uncertainty comes from the economy, due to high youth unemployment, the real estate crisis, the recent decline in the Hong Kong stock market or the ongoing deflation, which in January this year left the biggest price decline in nearly 15 years.

Celebrating the Year of the Dragon in Hong Kong (Reuters/Lam Yik)

Overall, Chinese families hope things will improve. the Zhao YongWho works in the technology sector, was leaving for the weekend in his home province of Henan, to see how he was losing money from his investment in the stock market:

“I took a look and everything was frozen. It's sad, I invested money in it. Anyway, I think after the new year foreign money will come and everything will open up. I'm still very optimistic.”

Liang studies in Beijing and has now returned to celebrate Chinese New Year in Shaanxi province. He believes things will improve: “I think it still needs better development, especially in technology and high-value-added industries.”

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Better perspective is also relevant Chinese government policies, which provide stimulusamong other things to make it easier for banks to lend more and thus encourage consumption.

In fact, the annual growth target, set by the government in March, For 2024 it will be 5% as in 2023This is according to analysts’ expectations. But the overall numbers are one thing, and the reality of the economy on the street is another.

Disingenuous comments accompany stories of successful efforts published by the regime's media. A massive and comprehensive propaganda machineNewspapers, radio, television and social networks.

For example, the girl who gave up her job in the city to return to the village to set up a Chinese bread shop. The baker says: “We now have two stores, and I am taking advantage of my young age, and next year I want to open five stores.” Chen Sixuan Its the video equivalent of TikTok.

Even more improbable is the case of the indebted delivery man who is now a yuan millionaire. “I work 18 hours a day, for three years in a row, without a day off,” Chen Si says. The comments responded: “You work 18 hours a day and don't wear glasses? I'm a delivery boy, do you think I can believe that?”

The New Year's Eve party broadcast on Chinese television, which is watched by hundreds of millions of Chinese families after dinner until midnight, is another example of this. The great distance between real life and the glorification of beauty And China's capabilities.

Dragon to the rescue

The Chinese economy may not be experiencing its peak prosperity, or may be losing its dynamism compared to the past 40 years when… The country has gone from poverty to having the second highest GDP in the world.

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But if there is Favorite animal of the twelve Chinese zodiac signs Because of his kindness and personality, he is a dragon.

He is not the equivalent of the ferocious beast that kills Saint Jordi. In Chinese mythology it is A good animal, with strength, power and wisdomwas identified with the sky and the emperor.

People born in the Year of the Dragon, according to popular belief, are intelligent, eloquent, charming, and generally do well in life. For all this, Dragon years are among the most valuable years for the existence of creaturesThis is much needed in the rapidly aging Chinese society.

Mo Yi is from Shandong Province. She is visiting Beijing these days with her husband and six-year-old daughter. When asked if he wants to have more children, he evades a spontaneous gesture of denial.

“Not now, that's okay with a baby.” To Mucheng, her daughter, who never misses a thing, assures her that her mother would be very tired to have two children.

It is a family that has money to travel and wants to give the best for their daughter. but The economy does not allow for weddings To launch into more villainy.

May it come true Good omens brought by the dragonFor the birth rate to rise and the economy to take off again, it is not enough to believe in horoscopes. It will be necessary for the Dragon to provide aid and incentives.

Bon A!Shen Nyan Kwai Lu!

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