If omicron makes cases explode in China, the country's leaders will have to choose between weathering short-term or long-term pain.
Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, predicts that sticking to the zero-COVID approach at all costs will hurt the Chinese and global economy. In his view, learning to live with the virus is the way to go.
China can continue zero COVID until the end of the Beijing Winter Olympics, but after the Games the best move for Xi Jinping is to change direction. But even then, Huang says, it won't be a major shift.
“They're just going to quietly abandon it, or replace it with a new policy.”
Watch his interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World: Omicron & the undoing of China's COVID strategy.