China’s Top Leaders Reiterate Support for ‘Zero-Covid’ Strategy

What’s new: China’s top policymakers restated the importance for the country to adhere to the dynamic “zero-Covid” strategy amid mounting concerns over the economic costs.

China’s pandemic prevention work is reaching a critical stage where failure to advance will lead to retreat, according to a meeting Thursday of the Politburo’s Standing Committee chaired by President Xi Jinping. “Persistence is victory,” the committee said.

China will speed up measures to tackle regional flare-ups, and it is too early to stand down as outbreaks remain high worldwide and the virus continues mutating, the top decision-making body said.

China has a large elderly population with imbalanced and insufficient overall medical resources. Relaxing Covid controls will lead to widespread infections and many serious cases and deaths, damaging the economy and people’s health, according to the committee

China will “resolutely adhere to the dynamic zero-Covid strategy and fight against any speech that distorts, questions or rejects” the virus control policies, the body said.

The background: The Politburo’s statement came amid rising concerns that China’s stringent virus-control measures are taking a heavy toll on the world’s second-largest economy.

As multiple cities across China rolled out strict measures to stamp out Covid outbreaks, business activity in China in April contracted at the steepest pace since February 2020.

The Politburo last week pledged efforts to support the economy while continuing the fight against the virus. “Covid must be contained, and the economy must be stabilized,” the Politburo said.

Source: Caixin Global

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