President Xi Jinping hailed China’s success in suppressing the deadly pandemic first discovered on its soil, even as confirmed infections globally raced toward the 30 million mark, reported Bloomberg.
In a ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Xi personally conferred medals on citizens deemed to have played instrumental roles in China’s fight against the virus identified in December in Wuhan. While other nations from India to the US grapple with ever-expanding outbreaks, China hasn’t reported a domestic infection in 22 days and Xi has increasingly turned his attention to bolstering the battered economy.
The president seized on China’s relative success to tout the merits of one-party rule, as leaders in democratically run countries grapple with protests against mask-mandates and extended lockdowns. None of the participants who shared the stage with Xi wore masks and the president shook hands with several people while leaving, a striking display of China’s progress.
“The CCP’s strong leadership is the most reliable backbone when a storm hits,” Xi said in a speech that stretched for more than 70 minutes. “The pandemic once again proves the superiority of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics.”