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Xi’s Vow to Boost Growth While Locking Down Met With Skepticism

  • Politburo’s pledges fuel rally in stocks and currency
  • Analysts say achieving GDP growth target will be difficult
Police officers in personal protective equipment check commuters' documents during a lockdown in Shanghai, China, on April 28.

Police officers in personal protective equipment check commuters' documents during a lockdown in Shanghai, China, on April 28.

Source: Bloomberg

China’s top leaders vowed on Friday to hit this year’s economic growth target while also sticking with a Covid Zero strategy that has locked down major cities. Economists doubt they can do both. 

Led by President Xi Jinping, the Communist Party’s 25-member Politburo said “Covid must be contained and the economy must be stabilized,” a recognition that weekslong lockdowns in the financial hub of Shanghai and elsewhere are taking a toll on growth. The statement, released during trading hours in an unusual move, appeared designed to bolster China’s beaten-down markets heading into a long holiday weekend.