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Xi Jinping and Li Qiang are Nos. 1 and 2 in the Chinese Communist Party hierarchy, but Li is still learning how to pull the levers of power in Beijing. (Nikkei montage/Reuters)
China up close

Analysis: As COVID soars, China has 2 chains of command

Premier Li Keqiang and new No. 2 Li Qiang both have hands on the steering wheel

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

Katsuji Nakazawa is a Tokyo-based senior staff and editorial writer at Nikkei. He spent seven years in China as a correspondent and later as China bureau chief. He was the 2014 recipient of the Vaughn-Ueda International Journalist prize.

After shifting away from a strict zero-COVID policy in November, China has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases. The spread has been faster than anticipated, almost bringing medical care and other crucial functions to a standstill.

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