Xi Jinping has his mojo back. Since his seeming struggle to respond coherently to the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan at the start of the year, China’s paramount leader appears to sense he is back on top of the world, that the future is in his hands. He has regained his political equilibrium and reverted to his regular stance in facing such challenges — he has gone on the attack, doubling down at home and abroad.
His career has been marked by an ever-increasing readiness to take risks, driven by the good luck that also has attended it to date.
Within China a gradual emergence from lockdown, a tricky task for Western countries, is made easier because the People’s Republic, across its 70 years, has always been in a degree of lockdown — these days virtual as well as offline — with the 91 million Communist Party members readily available as community enforcers.
Beijing’s aggressive new diplomacy, its Belt and Road strategy and above all the weaponising of its economic clout to win over political leaders across Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Central Asia and, increasingly, Europe — as well as many multinational corporations whose heads gather annually at Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum — appear to have cemented China’s global power.
Please click here to read the full “Even Xi not immune from politics of corona” article originally published at The Australian, written by Griffith Asia Institute Industry Fellow, Rowan Callick.