Xi makes first public appearance since returning from overseas

Spread the love

BEIJING – President Xi Jinping re-emerged after not being seen in public since his first foreign trip in more than two years earlier in September.

Mr Xi, wearing a mask, visited an exhibition in Beijing on Tuesday about China’s achievements over the past decade, state-run news outlet Xinhua reported.

His public appearance comes after he returned to Beijing from a summit in Uzbekistan at midnight on Sept 16.

Prior to that trip, the Chinese leader last went abroad in January 2020, when he visited Myanmar days before locking down the central city of Wuhan and entering a long spell of Covid-19 isolation.

His recent absence was consistent with China’s strict Covid-19 protocols, which mandate that all international arrivals undergo seven days of hotel quarantine, followed by three days of home isolation.

It was the second time Mr Xi has at least given the impression of adhering to his nation’s Covid-19-Zero rules.

In July, the Chinese leader was not seen in public for almost two weeks after a two-day trip to Hong Kong to celebrate 25 years of Chinese rule in the city.

That marked his first time outside mainland China in more than two years, although he did not stay overnight in the financial hub.

While the rest of the world has shifted to living with the virus, China has stuck to a Covid-19-Zero policy that aims to eliminate infections.

That strategy has weighed on growth forecasts and sparked domestic criticism, most recently after a quarantine centre transfer bus crashed, killing some two dozen people.

While Mr Xi’s recent sweep through Central Asia marked his return to the world stage, the Chinese leader displayed a more cautious approach to the virus than his peers.

He wore a face covering when meeting several counterparts and skipped a mask-free dinner at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan.

Mr Xi has made tough Covid-19 measures a cornerstone of his leadership, with state media citing the nation’s lower death toll as evidence that China has a superior governance model to the United States and its Western allies.

Virus measures are set to tighten as Mr Xi prepares for a twice-in-a-decade leadership summit next month, where he is expected to secure a precedent-busting third term in office. BLOOMBERG

Utilizziamo i cookie per assicurarti la migliore esperienza sul nostro sito web.