Xi has a birthday chat with Putin; Xi on human rights; State Council calls for more support for private sector; Wang Yang talks Common Prosperity
Today’s Essential Eight:
Beijing and Shanghai outbreaks - More tests, more cases from the Beijing bar superspreader event, still no return to normalcy in either of the PRC’s most important cities. But the government is making it easier for family members of some foreigners to get visas to go to China. There are no signs of any pivot away from the dynamic zero-Covid policy, but there does appear to be tweaking and refining.
Xi has a birthday chat with Putin - Xi celebrated his 69th birthday today with a phone call with Putin. Putin and Xi were together in Dushanbe, Tajikistan in 2019 for Xi’s 66th birthday, and had calls on Xi’s birthday in 2013 and 2018. The readouts from the two governments differed a bit on the topic of Ukraine, but there are no signs from either of any shift in Xi and the PRC’s position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, or on the broader relationship between the two countries.
May economic data - The data were weak though mostly as expected, but the high 18.4% une…