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Chinese President Xi Jinping has not protected his long-time aide Li Qiang, who serves as Shanghai's top official. (Nikkei montage/Getty Images/Xinhua/Kyodo)
China up close

Analysis: Xi gives thumbs-down to Shanghai, distancing closest aide

Li Qiang had been favorite to be China's next premier

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

In a speech commemorating the success of the Beijing Winter Olympics last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping claimed victory against COVID-19.

"As some foreign athletes said, if there were a gold medal for responding to the pandemic, then China would deserve it. I would say that this gold medal belongs to all the staff involved in hosting the Games," he said at the ceremony on April 8.

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