Beijing: While President Xi Jinping is all set to secure his third term in power, China is not as strong as it used to be in the pre-COVID times.

With the National People's Congress of China in 2018 approving the removal of the two-term limit on the presidency, President of China Xi Jinping can now effectively remain in power for life, reported

China's aspiration to be a global superpower has been brought to a virtual standstill because its supreme leader, Xi Jinping, does not want to take any chance on the way to ensure a record third term in power.

The most visible manifestation of this uncertainty is the draconian lockdown norms enforced as part of a zero-Covid policy.

Residents of Shanghai are faced with dire living conditions given that the lockdown prevents them from even stepping out of their houses to meet their daily necessities, or they otherwise face beatings by the police, reported

Yet, the Health Minister of China, Ma Xiaowei, has lately ruled out any relaxation in the lockdown norms before the completion of the Congress of the Community Party of China (CPC) later in 2022.

The date of the 20th National Congress of CPC to be held in 2022 has not yet been announced, except that it would be held sometime in the second half of the year.

As the Congress of the CPC approaches, everything does not seem to be hunky-dory for President Xi Jinping. The era of Xi Jinping has been marked by controversial measures like the crackdown on corruption, punishing over a million officials, and weeding out efficient officials in the process. Reliability and loyalty are now the only criteria for heading public- and private-sector organizations.

Observers believe this is one of the reasons why the pandemic situation has been mismanaged, leading to food shortages in cities like Shanghai and Xi'an and the spectre of a crop failure in rural areas.

On the international front, the emphasis of Xi Jinping on the occupation of Taiwan and the smothering of democracy in Hong Kong under the National Security Law has resulted in a sharp deterioration of relationships with the USA and other Western countries, reported

After the removal of the two-term limit on the presidency in 2018, Fan Liqin, a liberal intellectual, in an article written in the forum of Peking University, accused Xi Jinping of promoting a "personality cult."

He feared that a personality cult around the leader would result in a great tragedy for China and the Chinese people.

Moreover, the draconian measures have taken a heavy toll on business and public morale. Travels during the May Day holidays have been cancelled and business has been hit badly as a consequence.

President of the EU Chamber in China, Joerg Wuttke, in an interview, stated that China is losing credibility as the best sourcing location in the world. Because of the prolonged lockdown in Shanghai, the biggest business hub in China, the Chinese economy is suffering an enormous slump. The supply chains are so interlinked that lockdown in one place is having ripple effects in other regions.