Politburo meeting and the "6 ensures"; Hong Kong crackdown; Wuhan Lab; South China Sea
China officially announced Friday that Q1 GDP was -6.8% year-on-year.
The Politburo met on Friday, the readout again said epidemic prevention work and the economy were the main items on the agenda. From the language about the economy it seems increasingly clear the leadership is very worried.
For the first time Politburo introduced the concept of the “six ensures 六保”, in addition to stressing the “six stabilities” as they have over the last year or so. The six ensures give us a good idea of what worries them the most:
ensure employment 保居民就业;
ensure basic livelihood 保基本民生;
ensure market entities 保市场主体;
ensure food and energy security 保粮食能源安全;
ensure stability of the supply chain 保产业链供应链稳定;
ensure functioning of grassroots institutions 保基层运转 (确保基层政府保基本民生、保工资、保运转)
Xi has gone an inspection tour of Shaanxi Province. The full propaganda rollout has not begun so do we not know all of his destinations, but his choice of Shaanxi makes me wonder if the thinking is that in a time of great stress it m…