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China’s Economy Stumbles in the Fog of Covid War


China’s economic engine has shuddered in recent months, hurt by lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of Covid. Housing sales sagged. Many shops and restaurants in some cities shuttered, some maybe for good. Youth unemployment climbed.The slowdown has kindled doubts about the viability of China’s stringent strategy of eliminating virtually all Covid infections — whether the cure is becoming worse than the social and economic costs of restrictions. But on a recent visit to Wuhan, the city where the pandemic first took hold, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, said that extinguishing Covid remained paramount.“It would be preferable to have a little temporary impact on economic development, rather than let the physical safety and health of the public suffer,” Mr. Xi said, state media reported. He cited the need to protect older adults as well as children from infection, and warned officials against becoming weary of the grinding two-and-a-half-year war against Covid. “Persistence,” he said, “is victory.”That elusive victory o …

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