Despite the Costs, Xi Has Hitched His Political Fortunes to ‘Zero COVID’

A woman wearing a face mask rides a bicycle past a large television screen displaying Chinese President Xi Jinping, Hong Kong, July 1, 2022 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).
A woman wearing a face mask rides a bicycle past a large television screen displaying Chinese President Xi Jinping, Hong Kong, July 1, 2022 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).
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Chinese President Xi Jinping toured Wuhan last week in what amounted to a victory lap, triumphantly walking through production facilities and industrial sectors in the city that was the coronavirus pandemic’s Ground Zero when it emerged in December 2019. Xi’s visit was significant for two key, if distinct, reasons. One was to inspect “Optics Valley,” a burgeoning technology hub that symbolizes China’s ambitions to develop home-grown innovation and boost self-reliance. As with many of his visits to manufacturing facilities and incubators for critical technology sectors across China, Xi took photos with key personnel at the manufacturing sites and spoke about […]

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