The Weekly Quill — China, CRE and Central Banks

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Xi Jinping Fights to Hold on in the Year of the Black Water Tiger


“The complete reunification of our motherland is an aspiration shared by people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. I sincerely hope that all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation will join forces to create a brighter future for our nation.”

Xi Jinping, December 31, 2021

On June 15, 1953, Chinese President Xi Jinping was born in the Year of the Snake. Lest you think this (highly stereotypical Virgo) has gone full Shirley MacLaine, one-in-four Planet Earth inhabitants is influenced by the Chinese Zodiac. Given what Xi has already and further aims to accomplish in this most critical year of his life, it shouldn’t surprise your open-minded side that those born in the Year of the Snake tend to be great thinkers; they are proverbially cool, calm and collected, which Xi clearly exudes. Critics call out snakes as rigid, but equally praise them for their intellectual fortitude. Again, he fits the bill.

A (obviously outside) study conducted by Nathaniel Lutmer, Anna Faerber and Mariah Ogden-Kellington of St. John’s University Department of Psychology, published April 25, 2019, took a stab at what makes Xi tick, to be grossly untechnical. Their determination: Xi’s “primary personality patterns are ambitious/confident and dominant/asserting, complemented by secondary (personality patters of) outgoing/congenial and accommodating/cooperative features.” In sum, “Xi may be characterized as a confident, high-dominance extravert.”

Per the Chinese Zodiac, the contrast with the typical Snake is striking. Mind you, I “ascribe” more weight to the ancients from the clueless position of one of the furthest on the outside looking in. Though few would squabble with either characterization, a snakish acute degree of intuition conflicts with “dominant” and “asserting,” a la DJT. Moreover, the idea of intelligence and wisdom with great communication skills but extraordinary succinctness defies “extroverted.” The powerful desire to possess all with no patience for pantomiming the attainment of worldly goods contradicts “congenial” and “accommodating.” And finally, Snakes being easily stressed and demanding space and time to ease their internal tensions mocks “accommodating” and “cooperative.”

And yet, the St. John’s trio did a bang-up job of depicting the person Xi openly endeavors to project. One can only imagine how on edge he is after Li Zhanshu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and the third-highest ranked official, failed to show at last Friday’s New Year’s tea party of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory body. A top member being absent from such an official event is unheard of.

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