Analysis-Shanghai COVID crisis puts political spotlight on key Xi ally

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By Yew Lun Tian BEIJING (Reuters) – If Shanghai Communist Party chief Li Qiang has been politically bruised by the city’s struggle to tame a COVID-19 outbreak that has infuriated residents and caused severe economic damage, there is little sign of it. A close ally of President Xi Jinping for decades, Li has long been seen as destined for the powerful Politburo Standing Committee this year, tracking a well-worn path from Shanghai’s top spot that many analysts say appears safe despite the city’s COVID crisis. Outbreaks have derailed the careers of some local Chinese officials. But they did not s…

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