Why no change in Covid policies?
I thought there might be some changes in Xi's zero-Covid policies right after the National Congress meeting in October. The deteriorating economy and uncertainties are frustrating Chinese people and foreign businesses alike. But no changes came. Right now, the protests are huge and widespread and not yet violent, but getting there. And CCP fears nothing more than it does coordinated protests across cities.
Now, via a lead to an analyst in Taiwan, a rationale for the possible delay on changes in the zero-Covid policy.
We get so wrapped up in the CCP National Congress meeting that we sometimes ignore the
actual so-called government. The lianghui two meetings (NPC and CPPCC) come up after
the New Year, in March. Xi is not yet the new President of China. He is the
General Secretary of the Central Committee of CCP and Chairman of the Central
Military Commission and current President of guoyuan, the national government.
But in March the new government leaders will be elected, included the new
President of China (which will be Xi) and the new Premier, likely Li Qiang.
You know that the current premier Li Keqiang has been seriously sidelined
by Xi in the last five or six years. Li doesn't really run the government anymore.
And the CCP infighting does put Li Keqiang on the side of one of Xi's factional
But - in one of his last acts before leaving government in March, Li issued the
twenty new covid policies, essentially letting up a bit on Xi's zero covid policy -
shortening of quarantines and isolation periods, and curbing of the one-size-fits-all
current policies on lockdowns. This was done right after the CCP National Congress
This is Li telling Xi to go pound sand - or some other more descriptive term.
So Xi will wait until he is reelected as President in March and has his own guy Li Qiang as the newly elected Premier.
Then some change in the zero-covid policies might happen. Don't want any more insolence from Li Keqiang. The changes will be done after those meetings in March.
This makes sense to me, but I'd still want to hedge my bets.
BTW, Chinese students here will not discuss anything happening now in China in their wechat texts or on the phone. Too dangerous.
And China is not yet capitalist. The major supplier of office supplies in China has announced it will stop selling packages of white printing paper held up by students in their covid and Xinjiang protests. (CCP can't arrest students for holding up signs that say nothing). I thought perhaps the supplier would issue special packages of paper, labeled "Special edition. Only for use in street protests" - at a slightly higher price. But no.