Konrad Adenauer famously said: "What do I care about my gossip from yesterday". It would be giving Xi Jinping too much self-reflection to suggest that if he made a mistake, he would act like the Federal Republic's first chancellor.
The Chinese President made a 180-degree turn just two and a half months after vehemently defending his radical zero-corona policy. But unlike Adenauer, who ends the sentence with the words "Nothing prevents me from becoming wiser", Xi says: "Nothing prevents me from becoming more powerful."
As late as mid-October, Xi was still describing his radical pandemic policy as "necessary". The “safety and health of the people have been protected to the highest degree” and “significant positive results” have been achieved socially and economically, he said at the Communist Party congress.
Millions of Chinese were in lockdown at the time. For the President, the relentless crackdown was a demonstration of his power. But when he persisted, even though he successfully had himself proclaimed ruler for life at the party congress, the Chinese lost patience.
On the streets of many large cities, thousands of people not only demonstrated against the country's radical zero-corona policy, but even chanted "Down with Xi Jinping". For the dictator, this was embarrassing and threatening at the same time. Once you let the genie out of the bottle, you may never get it back in.
So Xi used violence to end the protests and turned things around. Lockdowns, mandatory tests and other rules were a thing of the past from one day to the next. On Monday, Beijing announced the lifting of travel restrictions for Chinese, thereby completely abolishing the Corona regiment. He chooses the worst of all possibilities.
According to officially unconfirmed estimates, 18 percent of the population was infected with Corona in the first three weeks of December alone. Hospitals are overcrowded and crematoria can't keep up with the amount of corpses.
Beijing, on the other hand, continues to refuse the vaccine from the West. Although Xi has secured his power for the time being with the turnaround, he has harmed his people. It's not future-proof.