‘Walled-in’ China underneath Xi Jinping poses long-term world challenges

'Walled-in' China under Xi Jinping poses long-term global challenges


Editor’s Note: A version of this story appeared in CNN’s Meanwhile in China newsletter, a three-times-a-week update exploring what you need to know about the country’s rise and how it impacts the world. Sign up here.


Beijing
CNN
 — 

During China’s National Day holiday in early October, several expatriate friends and I took our young children – who are of mixed races and tend to stand out in a Chinese crowd – to the Great Wall on the outskirts of Beijing.

As we climbed a restored but almost deserted section of the ancient landmark, a few local families on their way down walked past us. Noticing our kids, one of their children exclaimed: “Wow foreigners! With Covid? Let’s get away from them…” The adults remained quiet as the group quickened their paces.

That moment has lingered on my mind. It feels like a snapshot that illustrates how China has changed since its…