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Xi is back, Chinese media say. Here’s Why Her Looks Are Big News

Xi is back, Chinese media say.  Here's Why Her Looks Are Big News

Xi’s public appearance comes after he returned to Beijing from a summit in Uzbekistan. (Proceedings)

President Xi Jinping has resurfaced after not being seen in public since his first trip abroad in more than two years earlier this month.

Xi, wearing a mask, visited an exhibition in Beijing on Tuesday about China’s achievements over the past decade, state news outlet Xinhua reported. The Chinese leader was accompanied by the other six members of the Politburo Standing Committee, a sign of unity after rumors circulated on Twitter of a challenge to his power.

Xi’s public appearance comes after he returned to Beijing from a summit in Uzbekistan at midnight on September 16. Before that trip, the Chinese leader last traveled abroad in January 2020, when he visited Myanmar days before locking down the central city of Wuhan and entering a long period of isolation from Covid.

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His recent absence was consistent with China’s strict covid protocols, which require all international arrivals to undergo seven days of hotel quarantine, followed by three days of home isolation. It was the second time that Xi has at least given the impression of adhering to his nation’s Covid Zero rules.

In July, the Chinese leader was not seen in public for nearly two weeks after a two-day trip to Hong Kong to celebrate 25 years of Chinese rule in the city. That was his first time outside mainland China in more than two years, although he did not spend the night in the financial center.

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As the rest of the world has come to live with the virus, China has adhered to a Covid Zero policy that aims to eliminate infections. That strategy has influenced growth forecasts and sparked internal criticism, most recently after a quarantine center transfer bus crashed, killing about two dozen people.

While Xi’s recent sweep of Central Asia marked his return to the world stage, the Chinese leader displayed a more cautious approach to the virus than his peers. Xi covered his face as he met with several counterparts and skipped a maskless dinner at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan.

Xi has made tough Covid measures a cornerstone of his leadership, with state media citing the nation’s lower death count as evidence that China has a superior governance model than the United States and its Western allies. Anti-virus measures are expected to tighten as Xi prepares for a twice-in-a-decade leadership summit next month, where he is expected to secure a precedent-breaking third term.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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