China May Start Reopening to the World After the Winter Olympics, a Top Adviser Says

An adviser to China’s government said he hopes the country will gradually loosen its strict approach to battling Covid-19 after Beijing hosts the 2022 Winter Olympics, an event that could facilitate more interaction between global leaders.

Henry Wang Huiyao, an adviser to China’s State Council and founder of an influential Chinese think-tank, said closer collaboration between Washington, Beijing and the World Health Organization could help open up his country, which has largely isolated itself as it follows a “Covid Zero” approach to suppressing the virus.

As the global outbreak of the deadly virus continues to spread, the number of infections is on the rise. Wang demanded more coordination in fighting the epidemic.
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“There’s a lack of leadership on the global fighting of the pandemic,” Wang, president of the Center for China & Globalization, said in an interview from the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore. “There’s a need for having that so we can facilitate travel, the movement of people, and even for Chinese government officials to visit other countries.”

Wang said he hopes the country’s strict approach to handling Covid-19 will change and that it will gradually reopen. China has many major events planned, with the Olympic Games beginning in February. This makes it unlikely that restrictions will be relaxed before then.

“I hope that after the Beijing Olympics, we will see something happening,” Wang said.

Wang also said that he hoped American President Joe Biden could attend the opening ceremonies of the games.

“We hope that could be another occasion for the two presidents to meet,” he said.

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