Xi’s statement may serve as a tacit acknowledgment of the impact of China’s zero-Covid strategy and its strict lockdowns on the world’s second largest economy.
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China is facing its biggest Covid surge since the first major outbreak in Wuhan in early 2020, and its focus largely remains on containing a pandemic that other countries have decided to live with.
But those strict restrictions come at a price.
Even before Xi’s statement on Thursday, there were indications that the Chinese government no longer feels containing the pandemic can come at the cost of economic stability.
On Wednesday, China’s Vice Premier Liu He, Xi Jinping’s top economic advisor, said at a key government meeting that virus controls should be coordinated with economic development. He also pledged that the government will “substantially” boost economic growth and keep financial markets stable.
On Thursday, Shenzhen, the technology and manufacturing hub in southern China, said it will allow companies to resume work in an “orderly” manner, three days after it imposed a strict lockdown prompted by 66 new positive cases.
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A “closed loop” process has been implemented on campuses that adheres to policies issued by the Shenzhen government, the company said in a statement to CNN Business.