The rumors were true, Xi Jinping did finally visit Wuhan. He did not quite declare victory in the “people’s war” on the virus but his trip is clearly a sign he believes victory is within reach.
Wang Huning accompanied him.
Xi started his visit at a command center next to the Huoshenshan hospital, where he talked over video link with medical workers and patients in the hospital. Xi upgraded his face mask from the simple surgical mask he has worn in Beijing to a better 3M N95 one.
Victory in the people’s war over the virus may be the "wartime experience" Xi has lacked to fully elevate him past Deng to at least equal standing with Mao Zedong. I will guess it will be the achievement that finally gets him the full "People's Leader" mantle.
Xinhua today posted a short video - 人民领袖 指挥决战-新华网-The People's Leader Commanding the decisive battle".
The worse the outbreak gets outside China the better Xi looks domestically, in spite of the initial missteps. Things are starting to look up for Xi, China, and the Chinese economy after an awful start to the year of the Rat.
Thanks for reading.
1. Xi visits Wuhan
Comment: Qianjiang is the city whose Party Secretary decided after hearing about the virus during the two meetings in Wuhan in January to immediately quarantine all the patients in his city who had symptoms, and so the epidemic never really exploded in his city. This 2.18 Caixin article has more details.
2. The economy
3. Propaganda struggle
Comment: These efforts from PRC officials is going to lead to a backlash to start calling the virus not COVID-19 but names that cause all sorts of racist issues.
Meanwhile, American Fox News viewers at least know it as the “Chinese” virus. This Carlson segment is worth watching to get a sense of the mood in some of the US media
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