Omicron has arrived. It's more contagious, but less severe. Some parts of the world are even looking forward to the pandemic becoming endemic.
Not China. Xi Jinping's zero-COVID strategy has worked wonders until now, but it's unlikely to survive omicron, explains Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.
Why? China's vaccines are not as effective against the new COVID variant as mRNA jabs, and the Chinese population has no protection from previous infection.
Without a homegrown mRNA vaccine, China is vulnerable to local omicron outbreaks, which will lead to severe lockdowns and, in turn, greater economic disruption.
That's the last thing Xi wants less than a month out from the Winter Olympics, and later this year, when he hopes to get an unprecedented third term in office as China's leader.
Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Omicron and the undoing of China’s COVID strategy