- There are several rumors that Xi might step down as China's President after rumors of his ill health
- China's economy has been down amid the President's 'Zero-Covid' policy, shutting down businesses.
- Current Premier Li Keqiang will be assuming the place on Jinping’s behalf: Rumors.
After several reports claimed that China's President Xi Jinping is suffering from 'cerebral aneurysm', the country's social media is buzzing with rumours that the Chinese Premier might resign from the top post soon. Rumours suggest that the leader's ill health is just an added subtext to the leadership's mismanagement during Covid-19.
The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been under mounts of pressure from the citizens, the West and the world recently due to its failed measures to cope with the economy after Covid-19. Russia's war on Ukraine has added much tension to the list.
Is Jinping going to quit soon?
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.
The blogger claimed that 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.
Xi's health conditions
Chinese President Xi Jinping is suffering from 'cerebral aneurysm' and had to be hospitalized at the end of 2021, media reports said. It is learnt that he preferred to be treated with traditional Chinese medicines rather than going for surgery, which softens the blood vessels and shrinks aneurysms.
Earlier in March 2019, during Xi's visit to Italy, his gait was observed to be unusual with a noticeable limp and later also in France during the same tour, he was seen taking support while trying to sit down. Similarly, during an address to the public in Shenzhen in October 2020, his delay in appearance, slow speech and coughing spree again led to speculation about his ill health.
Failed Zero-Covid policy, repercussions on the economy
To curb the spread of coronavirus, the Chinese President had ordered a 'zero-Covid' policy. However, the strategy failed as extensive lockdowns have hampered businesses across the country. Despite low infection rates, the country had locked down over 180 million with stringent rules as part of their no-covid approach.
As per a senior Chinese official, “the pandemic is a ‘stumbling block’ for economic and social development.”
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.