Beloved Comrades

There's a raging bull market in news out of China. Every day brings a new twist in an increasingly lively tale of political intrigue and socioeconomic uncertainty. Just a few days on from nationwide protests which included (loud) calls for Xi Jinping's ouster, China lost Jiang Zemin, whose decade-long presidential tenure was defined by a continuation of the epochal economic shift towards capitalism that began under Deng Xiaoping. Jiang wasn't necessarily destined for a prominent place in any
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7 thoughts on “Beloved Comrades

  1. “From order comes chaos”
    Covid policy changing during the winter is not very good timing but the summer was caught up with the coronation containment.
    Having spent the last three days at a hospital here in New York, tending to a friend and talking to staff, makes me believe that the US will have a bit of a winter itself.

  2. Covid, flu and rsv are all problems in nyc. Thanksgiving gatherings were a spreading event and I expect Christmas and new years holidays will be as well. We have more tools than a year or two ago but it is still somewhat concerning. Osterholm, an infectious disease expert said 5 years to really put this to bed- that is roughly November of 2024 to march 2025, depending how you start it.

  3. Xi and the people around him are smart & well informed enough to know that Omicron Covid is too easily transmissible to contain. they know that zero-Covid is impossible at this point. As such, they’re confronted with the same decisions Western governments have made, namely how to keep the rate of spread low enough that hospitals aren’t overwhelmed. “Flattening the Curve” will be their policy going forward, even if they don’t call it that. It’ll take about 18 months, but in the end, Covid policy in China will look indistinguishable from policy in the rest of the world.

    As for the protests, every well made pressure cooker has an over-pressure release valve. Letting a little steam vent prevents the whole thing from exploding. Over the course of the last three years, the combination of geopolitical events, environmental disasters, and Covid containment measures have all worked in concert to increase the pressure to unmanageable levels. Letting a little steam vent is the obvious decision for the CCP.

    Those surprised by the lack of a crackdown on open protest are underestimating Chinese leaderships’ ability to manage the body politic. Letting protestors gather over the weekends, wave signs, and make some noise releases enough pressure to prevent an explosion. No one is setting dumpsters on fire, flipping police cars, or throwing bricks through the windows of government buildings. So long as that doesn’t happen, don’t expect large-scale crack-downs.

    (That said, were I Chinese, I definitely wouldn’t be showing up at any of these protests, you can bet your bottom yuan that every person involved is being identified and flagged in the System. They’ll have all kinds of subtle difficulties crop up throughout their future endeavors.)

    1. WMD – great point on the pressure cooker release valve.

      Perhaps the PRC leaders are cautious about going Full-DeSantis after watching what happened in India when they lifted restrictions after the first wave, only to see the virus to return in a much more virulent fashion. Given their respective healthcare systems, China is probably closer to India than Florida or Texas.

      1. Wasn’t the India debacle the Delta wave? America has > 1 million Covid deaths, but the vast majority of those were pre-Omicron.

        Anyway, my larger point was actually that they would muddle forward with mixed containment measures, which is exactly what America did. It’s not the Florida model, it’s the spectrum from NYC – Florida model where different municipalities respond according to how much strain they’re under.

        1. My recollection is that Modi was counting on the “herd immunity” argument championed by the anti-vax crowd here as well. That did not work out so well when Delta hit.

          The places where that approach ruled can now look forward to an ongoing burden from Long Covid, which may turn out to be a larger issue than most think.

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