Beijing: China's President Xi Jinping's will be costly for China and its people, writes Ian Bremmer in Nikkei Asia.

Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media and author of "The Power of Crisis," said that Xi's ability to make arbitrary decisions that impact the lives of billions of people is now unrivalled, following his emergence from last year's Communist Party national congress with tighter control over both the ruling party and China than any leader since Mao Zedong.

Xi's power has become a global problem, His refusal to import foreign-made mRNA vaccines has left China's 1.4 billion people far more vulnerable to COVID-19 than they should be.

Xi's drive for control has produced considerable damage in other areas, as well, said Bremmer.

A secretive crackdown on private-sector technology companies, probably driven by fears they have too much influence over the flow of information in the country, has undermined China's ability to build ground breaking new digital technologies and the confidence of international investors that China remains a safe place to invest.

This has drained away a trillion dollars in market valuation from one of the most efficient areas of China's private sector, reported Nikkei Asia.

On foreign policy, Xi's announcement of a "no limits" friendship with Russia just three weeks before the invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated fears in America and Europe that he shares President Vladimir Putin's hunger to remake the international system.

Moreover, the problem of "maximum Xi" will grow larger in 2023, said Bremmer.

First, the startling decision to end zero-COVID all at once and without careful preparation could kill a million or more Chinese people.

Only an emperor could execute such an extraordinary and extraordinarily costly reversal, reported Nikkei Asia.

On the economy, Xi's drive for state control will produce decisions unchallenged by expert opinion and unaffected by a surge in policy uncertainty.

This will be bad news for an economy already weakened by three years of COVID lockdowns, falling confidence in the all-important real estate sector and debt defaults that could undermine the country's financial sector, said Bremmer.

Finally, on foreign policy, Xi's nationalist views and assertive style will define Beijing's relations with rivals, allies and the very large number of governments that are deeply reluctant to risk becoming either.

Given the scale and immediacy of the economic challenges at home, Xi knows his country cannot afford a near-term crisis. But "wolf warrior" diplomacy will intensify as diplomats echo Xi's aggressive foreign policy rhetoric.

The last time a Chinese leader had this much-unconstrained power, the result was widespread famine, economic ruin and the deaths of millions of people.