President Xi Jinping of China looked regal as he stood in a limousine moving past Tiananmen Square this month, wearing a traditional suit of the kind favored by Mao and waving at parade troops assembled at attention. But the luster of Mr. Xi’s imperial presidency has dulled lately.
China’s economy has slowed more abruptly than policy makers have appeared ready for, alarming investors around the world. The government overestimated its ability to keep stock prices aloft, spending billions to bolster the Chinese markets. Mr. Xi’s ambitious reform agenda, including an effort to revive a bloated state sector, has yielded few concrete results.
“A lot of people are now sitting back and saying, ‘Maybe this operation isn’t as well wired as we thought it was,’ ” said Robert L. Suettinger, asenior adviser at the Stimson Center in Washington and a former Asia director on the National Security Council.
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