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After the 2008 financial crisis, China poured 4 trillion yuan ($560 billion) into new airports, train stations, and roads—all carbon-intensive projects that looked forward to a carbon-intensive future.In the ensuing decade, President Xi Jinping has tried to stake out a position as a global leader on climate change. Now the country faces a deeper crisis. And yet, as the economic pressure from Covid-19 increased, China began to loosen restrictions on industrial pollution and is inching back toward coal as a cheap source of power.