Beijing: Chinese social media is buzzing with speculations that President Xi Jinping might step down from his position following the mismanagement of the stringent Covid lockdowns accompanied by the economic slump in the country.
The rising rumours about Xi Jinping stepping down started after a meeting of the party politburo standing committee, which is the collective leadership group that rules China. Further, a video made by a Canadian-based blogger was doing the rounds on social media before China censored it. According to the blogger, until a major party meeting was organized in the latter part of the year, Xi Jinping would be forced to step aside from the Chinese Communist Party. The current Premier Li Keqiang will be assuming the place on Jinping’s behalf to take over daily management of the party and government.
To curb the spread of the Covid virus, the Chinese President ordered to “resolutely fight” those who try to question the strict zero-Covid policy. However, extensive lockdowns have hampered businesses across the country. As per a senior Chinese official, “the pandemic is a ‘stumbling block’ for economic and social development.” In another press conference, Han Wenxiu, the Deputy Director at the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee office for financial and economic affairs had spoken that the pandemic should be contained with scientific precision, by stabilizing the economy, and keeping the country’s development secure, instead of targeting only one aspect.
Strict Covid restrictions have also put a stop to industrial production resulting in the disruption of the supply chains for the first time. The manufacturing activity witnessed a steady decline, reaching its lowest since February 2020. Further, as the period of lockdowns in Shanghai drags on, analysts from various investment banks have also cut their forecasts for the country’s economic growth rate. In the month of April, the yuan currency of China dipped by over 4 per cent, the biggest monthly drop in 28 years.
Moreover, stock markets have also been severely affected which is likely to impact the global recovery as the intensive lockdowns will impact companies’ sales in China and also affect the supply chain. Reportedly, all these reasons have caused widespread discontentment in China as the Chinese people have been losing faith in Jinping’s governance over the tough conditions and botched management under his rule.—IANS