China Covid: Xi Jinping Faces Worst Crisis of His Tenure

China Covid: Xi Jinping Faces Worst Crisis of His Tenure

After nearly three years of fighting Covid tooth-and-nail, and excoriating Western nations that chose to live with the virus at the cost of millions of lives, China’s rhetoric seems to be moving in a more nuanced direction.

Stories of people who survived infections are popping up in state-run media, local governments are vowing to prioritize the public over Covid control, and party mouthpiece People’s Daily urged citizens to take responsibility for their own health.

References to “dynamic Covid Zero” have also appeared less often in the Communist Party’s literature in the two weeks since Beijing ushered in a more moderate playbook on how to combat the virus. At a briefing on Tuesday, officials from bodies like the National Health Commission didn’t use the term at all, a departure from previous briefings. Instead, they encouraged the elderly to get vaccinated.

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