mandag 2. januar 2023

China’s President Xi battles to save face as Covid U-turn weakens his grip on power

China’s leader Xi Jinping told his country it stands on “the right side of history” in a new year address on Saturday, but experts have warned that the president starts 2023 diminished by his chaotic U-turn on Covid strategy. He may struggle to deflect blame for the human and economic costs of zero-Covid’s failure, and control the national narrative, even if public signs of dissent are crushed.

Officially, China has registered just over 5,200 deaths from Covid, but there is a yawning gap between the picture presented by the usually efficient communist propaganda apparatus and the reality reflected in social media posts and anecdotes from across China.