The arrival of omicron could be disastrous for China, Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, tells Ian Bremmer in a GZERO World interview.
Xi Jinping's zero-COVID approach faces its toughest test to date; the country lacks mRNA jabs which are more effective against the new variant, and so few Chinese people have gotten COVID that overall protection is very low.
Until it develops an mRNA vaccine of its own, China can expect larger outbreaks because of omicron, leading to more severe lockdowns and, in turn, greater economic disruption.
This will have implications not just for China but for the global economy as well.
Zero COVID currently remains popular with most Chinese people, but if things get really bad, Huang believes China will pivot to living with the virus, especially as the cost of keeping zero COVID in the age of omicron becomes too high.
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