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Xi uses Covid Zero to stem dissent and advance to third term as economy and people suffer

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A strong statement issued by the seven-member Supreme Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Politburos warned top leaders against questioning Xi Jinping’s Covid Zero strategy.

Shutdowns caused by the Covid surge caused by Omicron have hampered economic growth – a source of CCP strength and power. The economic downturn is now drawing criticism of the Chinese president and his leaders.

Criticism has also come from those who are Xi’s biggest cheerleaders. Former Global Times editor Hu Xijin, according to a Bloomberg report, posted and then quickly deleted a WeChat message earlier Thursday in which he commented on the zero-Covid policy Beijing is sticking to.

Xijin said the economic costs of containing the virus should not outweigh the public health benefits. Hu even went on to say that the CCP should tell people the truth or operate low-cost containment if Beijing faces an increase in cases.

Some believe that Xi’s blunt insistence on Covid Zero stems from his thinking that China’s Covid strategy is better than that devised in Western countries. He also believes that Chinas Covid Zero is an example of how the Chinese governance model is superior to those of Western countries.

Deng Yuwen, a former editor of a Communist Party newspaper, told Bloomberg that despite the criticism Xi may face, top leaders will still have to listen to him as Covid evolves into a fight Xi cannot stand. afford to lose.

However, Covid’s assault on China Securities Index 300 (CSI 300) continues as it fell to a two-year low last week and fell 21% this year. Many containers remain stuck in Shanghai, further crippling global trade and hurting emerging markets.

Despite these developments, Xi insists on sticking to Covid Zero.

For Shanghai, a proposal has been sent to industries where workers will work in a closed loop. This has helped restart production at more than 70% of its industrial manufacturing facilities, while 90% of 660 key industrial companies have resumed production, according to a Bloomberg report.

Censorship is rife in China, and such is its insistence on rooting out dissent that the CCP has banned Chinese strategist Hong Haos’ Weibo and WeChat accounts following his bearish reports on the economy and stock index.

The CCP’s statement remained optimistic. As mentioned earlier, it was forcefully worded and cautioned against dissent.

(The Politburo pledges) to fight any speech that distorts, questions or rejects our country’s Covid control policy. Our pandemic prevention and control strategy is determined by the nature and principles of the parties. Our policy can stand the test of history, and our measures are scientific and effective, he said.

What he failed to mention is that the current policy is to ensure that Xi can begin his unprecedented third term as he prepares for a two-decade leadership shake-up later this year. year.

(with entries from Bloomberg)

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