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Shanghai Chief Emerges as Bellwether for Xi’s Power in China

  • Xi acolyte Li Qiang may be promoted to premier, reports say
  • Elevating Li to run government would give Xi even more power
Li Qiang 
Li Qiang Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg
Updated on

While President Xi Jinping is already China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, the career path of a key ally will show how much the Communist Party is becoming a one-man show. 

Li Qiang, the party chief of Shanghai, sealed off the financial hub for two months earlier this year following one of the biggest outbreaks to breach Xi’s strict Covid Zero policy. The city saw food shortages and clashes between citizens and health workers, which generated an unusual outpouring of anti-government posts on social media. At one point, a woman in a wheelchair scolded Li for failing to provide enough food.