Shanghai; Xi makes clear dynamic zero-COVID not going away; Decoupling talk; Translation struggles
There were several official articles overnight declaring that there will be no deviation from dynamic zero-COVID, and the final paragraph of the long CCTV Evening News report on Xi’s inspection tour of Hainan makes it clear to anyone still harboring hope for a shift that Xi is having none of it:
Xi Jinping pointed out that the current global pandemic is still very serious, so we can not relax the prevention and control work. Persistence is victory. Adhere to people above all else, life above all else, adhere to the prevention of imported cases, a rebound of domestic cases, adhere to scientific precision, dynamic zero-COVID, grasp the details of the epidemic prevention and control initiatives. We need to overcome paralysis, war-weariness, "get lucky" mentality and complacency. In response to the new features of the virus' mutation, we need to improve our capabilities in scientific and precise prevention and control, improve various contingency plans, and strictly implement regular prevention and control measures to minimize the impact of the epidemic on economic and social development.
The message to Shanghai and everyone else is clear-suck it up for the good of the country, the policy is not going to change in any fundamental way, and we are going to grind through the pandemic and any thing or person that gets in the way.
Whether or not officials in other cities that may also have to lock down are learning from the Shanghai mess and making smart, workable contingency plans for their time in lockdown is an unknown. For their citizens I certainly hope so.
We may finally get a high-level speech laying out the Biden China strategy. I am hearing Secretary of State Blinken will soon to give the administration’s China strategy speech, as part of the public roll out of National Security Strategy (NSS). Such a speech has been rumored before, to be given by National Security Advisor Sullivan last September /October, then to be given by Biden himself around Thanksgiving, but I think this time the speech really may happen. The NSS release is already almost four months later than the Trump Administration’s December 2020 release of their strategy.
Today’s Essential Eight:
Consistent messaging that dynamic zero-COVID will continue
Xi in Hainan
Translation struggles ahead
More foreign selling of PRC bonds
Guangxi takes the lead in the 20th Party Congress hagiography horse race
We could probably all use some dark political humor, courtesy of Henry Gao on Twitter - “If only China could adopt the same zero tolerance policy on corruption as it has been with COVID”:
Thanks for reading.