The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on China, causing tremendous losses. It also accelerated the trend of power concentration, both within the state and inside the Communist Party. With tensions between the US and China mounting in more areas, bilateral relations dropped to the lowest point since the end of the Cold War. On its periphery, China also saw crises of varying intensity over Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Uyghurs, and the disputed border with India.

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