Sun, 27 Nov 2022

Beijing [China], October 3 (ANI): Xi Jinping's tightened political control in China has posed several challenges to his leadership as the communist nation is facing a dark economic picture while economic and social inequality continue to increase.

Meanwhile, the predictions made by West of the political demise of the Chinese premier upon rising internal opposition are understandable as severe human rights violations and Xi-driven crackdown has sparked outrage among Chinese citizens, Nathan Levine and Johanna Costigan writing for Nikkei Asia said.

The crisis in China due to stringent lockdowns has triggered hopelessness among the country's masses and has only added to the political challenges for Xi Jinping ahead of the 20th Party Congress which is set to take place in mid-October.

Nathan Levine and Johanna Costigan, writing in Nikkei Asia further said the control in China, since the days of Mao Zedong has been maintained by what he famously described as "the gun" (the military), "the pen" (propaganda) and "the knife" (the internal security apparatus).

With two weeks to go before Xi Jinping begins his third term as the President, political competition within the CCP is at a surge and the ongoing crises mean the outcomes of the congress are very dicey even for party insiders.

Xi has had to combat the rise of factional rivals within the next generation of leadership. For instance, the fortunes of Li Qiang, a Xi protege seen as his top choice to replace Li Keqiang as premier, have been badly tarnished by COVID lockdowns in Shanghai, where he is party secretary, Nikkei Asia reported.

China is one of the last places in the world still enforcing stringent zero-Covid measures. The heavy-handed approach has seen dozens of neighbourhoods across Shenzhen identified as "high-risk areas," and placed under strict lockdown orders.

In the last two years, while the rest of the world rose to the occasion and meandered its way through the global health crisis, China has clung to its futile attempt at feigning control over an impossible situation.

Many people have been unemployed and underemployed, especially in service industries, due to the repeated lockdowns in different parts of the country.

The Zero Covid Policy of China under which full or partial lockdowns were imposed in major centres, has had a negative impact on businesses.

More severe lockdowns were implemented in the country as it continued to report more coronavirus infections this year. (ANI)

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