This story from the BBC covers largely familiar ground as far as the deterioration of the Chinese economy is concerned, but in contrast to some other articles featured here, stresses the political implications of lower growth.
Note that while many in passing observe that lower economic growth could be destabilizing for China, it also appears that many analysts discount that possibility because the malcontents lack organized leadership. But it is far from a given that that would continue.
From the BBC (hat tip reader Sean, boldface ours):
China has said its employment outlook is “grim”, amid worries that economic problems could lead to social unrest…
Over the last few weeks, there have been an increasing number of signs that China is feeling the effects of a global economic slowdown.
Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, said that had resulted in a “grim” employment situation in China.
“This is particularly the case for labour-intensive small- and medium-sized companies,” Mr Yin told a news conference….
The authorities expect to keep the unemployment rate within its target of 4.5% this year, but that figure is expected to rise next year, it was revealed…
Maintaining employment stability is important in China because the leadership fears people who lose their jobs could protest.
Meng Jianzhu, minister of public security, this week warned the police to be “fully aware of the challenges brought by the global financial crisis”.
He said officers should be careful about how they handle “mass incidents”, Beijing’s euphemism for protests by ordinary people.
These protests are common in China, although they are often isolated incidents sparked by particular local grievances….
Professor Joseph Cheng, of Hong Kong’s City University, said the legitimacy of the Chinese government was built on economic growth.
“If people see that economic growth can no longer be maintained, then the very basis of the government has been eroded,” he said.
He added that the widening gap between rich and poor in China could exacerbate current economic problems.
“Because of this, the hardships of those who suffer might become unbearable,” he said.