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George Soros says the leadership of China's Xi was threatened by omicron and real-estate crisis

George Soros says the leadership of China's Xi was threatened by omicron

February 3, 2022: -Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s position is at risk; billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros has said.

Speaking through teleconference on a panel with the Hoover Institution on Monday, Soros argues that the omicron Covid-19 variant “threatens to be Xi Jinping’s undoing” as the virus is “no longer under control” in China.

“The Chinese vaccines are designed to deal with the Wuhan variant, but the world is struggling with different variants,” Soros said. “Xi Jinping couldn’t possibly admit this while he waits to be appointed for a third term; he hides it from the Chinese people as a guilty secret.”

Soros claimed that Xi’s only available move, hence, has been to impose China’s zero-Covid policy, criticizing for its widespread economic ramifications at home and abroad.

The Chinese Communist Party will decide at its National Party Congress this year whether to give Xi a third term in office. But Soros argues Xi’s attempts to impose “total control” more than the country via a series of severe lockdowns could jeopardize his chances of being reinstated as the party’s leader as the strategy is “unlikely to work. Against a variant as infectious as omicron.”

“Although nobody can oppose him publicly as he controls all the levers of power, there is a fight brewing within the CCP that is sharp that it has found expression in different parties for private enterprise.”

He also noted that China faces an economic crisis centered on its real estate market, a significant growth engine.

“The model on which the real estate boom is based is unsustainable,” he explained. “People that buy apartments have to start paying for them even before they are built, so the system is built on credit. Local governments derive most of their revenues from selling land at ever-rising prices.”

China’s substantial real estate sector is under pressure as authorities have looked to reduce its reliance on debt in latest years. Several industry firms have defaulted, including real estate giant China Evergrande.

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