My wife fills me in social media gossip from China and among the enormous Chinese ex-pat community around the world. The Chinese government do their best to censor social media but a lot of stuff still gets discussed. In no particular order:
- Xi and his inner circle (the Politboro) is trying to figure a way to back away from the Xi's policy of totally eliminating COVID without the great loss of face that a simple announcement would cause. This can be seen with the recent outbreak on Hainan Island where 150,000 tourists were locked down, plus local population. The Vice Premier in charge of health did not mention the policy when talking about the outbreak. Also the governor of the province apologized to those locked down. Neither of these had been done with previous outbreaks like the late spring one in Shanghai.
- Xi apparently can never leave in office apparently, he will die as the head cheese. This is because he has made so many enemies in the country that he needs the power of the state to protect him. If he were to retire his successor would likely have him killed as he would be seen as a threat. This situation has developed because he now has so many enemies in the country.
- Xi wants power because he wants power. The talk is that best way to have him die is to get to work too hard. He apparently is a micro-manager and wants to know everything and have input in decisions. In this he is the anti-Trump because was lazy and incurious. He is unlike Putin who has a massive estate and boat (not sure how much time he spends (spend before Ukraine) on these toys.
- Xi has been very careful that none of those in power both in the Party and in the Politboro get too much individual power and emerges as a rival.
- He does not have a trusted #2 - think Chou Enlai fo Mao, who was both capable and not ambitious above his current status.