In China: ‘Fight, Fight!’

In China: ‘Fight, Fight!’

Maybe Xi Jinping decided to abandon "COVID zero" following last month's Party congress. He's going to lead China for the remainder of his life, so he doesn't have anything to lose from letting COVID run loose. In fact, given simmering discontent with never-ending lockdowns, adopting a less onerous approach to virus control would almost surely improve his standing with the public. Not that it matters. It's not a popularity contest. It's not as if he can be voted out of office. And therein lies
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10 thoughts on “In China: ‘Fight, Fight!’

  1. China has not done the ground work to abandon zero-Covid. While 87% of the population is vaccinated, that is with domestic Chinese vaccines which are much less efficacious than the vaccines used in the West (even though China’s Fosun Pharma has a license for the PFE/BNTX mRNA vaccine, the govt has never approved it). The vaccination rate is lower among the older popln; only 50% of over-80s are vaccinated, only 20% have one booster shot. China also has not secured a supply of antivirals (Paxlovid is the only one that remains effective against current variants).

    Thus, while Xi should abandon zero-Covid, doing so right now will probably result in an enormous epidemic of Covid sweeping the country. Tens of millions of cases, overflowing hospitals, makeshift morgues, people isolating out of fear, then the wave of long Covid disability, local governments in financial distress, etc. Basically Xi will exchange the current form of chaos and disquiet for another, much larger and wholly uncontrollable, that will make his handling of Covid look multiples worse. I’m not even sure it will help the economy, a raging epidemic being not conducive to consumer spending.

    I think the most logical thing for Xi to do is to compel a nationwide campaign of re-vaccination with mRNA vaccines plus nasal boosters while setting up a nationwide network of hospital surge capacity, then transition from zero-Covid to living-with-Covid, with stringent masking and ventilation rules (living-with-Covid China style is going to look very different than in the US).

    However, as divining the practical application of Xi thought has been a losing game for some time, I think I’ll just remain zero-weight China for now.

    1. JYL – you’ve added some wise posts recently.

      Thanks for reminding us of the Long Covid hangover about to be enjoyed on the USA. I’d guess that Florida will lead the nation, thanks to the anointed GOP candidate Ron DiSantis.

      1. Thanks.

        Yes, long Covid is definitely a thing and I think has been a material factor in the US labor supply issue.

        China has been touting its superiority to the feckless West, where millions of people died and economies crippled by long Covid will be distanced by China’s healthy workers (so they say). I think it would be so face-losing to now see China descend into the same sort of epidemic, that the CCP is between the proverbial rock and hard place.

        I’ve been thinking about this because, if China does decisively turn away from zero-Covid, Chinese stocks will rocket (the engines have been lit a couple of times already but the rocket didn’t quite clear the gantry) and we’ll have to decide whether to jump onboard. My theory is if zero-Covid gets punted without adequate preparation, then jumping onboard makes sense but leave your seatbelt unfastened in case it is only a short ride before the rocket blows up.

        Maybe that’s redundant – who is going to buckle themselves tightly to Xi’s China anyway? The saying has become “fool me once . . . but fool me three (four? five?) times . . .”

  2. Let’s just hope Xi doesn’t fall back on that time-honored “wag the dog” technique of addressing domestic unrest by starting a war. It’s not 2034 yet but… [see Stavridis book of that title]…

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