PHOTO: Construction workers in Chongqing, China, on March 22. The fate of China’s economic war with the US depends less on the trade deals negotiated and more on whether China can prevent a property market collapse. Photo: AFP

China’s biggest economic risk in 2020 comes from its efforts to deflate the real estate bubble, which is closer to collapse than any point since 2003. Failure to find a soft landing may spell the end of China’s economic dream

“The only force that can defeat China is from within. No exterior force can.” On October 2 this year, the Communist Party’s leading journal of political theory, Qiushi, published in full a 2018 speech by President Xi Jinping, highlighting in stark language China’s coming challenges as the People’s Republic enters its 71st year. Indeed, in 2020, China’s primary economic risk is most likely to come not from the trade war, but from its inflated property market.