IN THE AFTERMATH of the global financial crisis in 2007-09, China’s stimulus efforts, which pumped around 4trn yuan ($575bn) into the economy, left observers gushing with praise. Robert Zoellick, then head of the World Bank, expressed his delight at the fiscal expansion. The IMF credited the world’s second-largest economy with leading the global recovery.
This year, during a new period of economic turmoil, China is again helping to bring supply and demand back together—albeit in a very different way. With the price of fuels surging, the collapse in Chinese purchases of natural gas and other forms of energy has been an unexpected boon to countries around the world.