Hong Kong (CNN)China's top leader Xi Jinping has issued the strongest warning yet against anyone who questions the country's zero-Covid policy, as stringent, frequent lockdowns fuel public discontent and deal a devastating blow to the Chinese economy.
At a meeting chaired by Xi on Thursday, the ruling Communist Party's supreme Politburo Standing Committee vowed to "unswervingly adhere to the general policy of 'dynamic zero-Covid,' and resolutely fight against any words and acts that distort, doubt or deny our country's epidemic prevention policies."
This is the first time Xi, who according to state media made an "important speech" at the meeting, has made public remarks about China's battle against Covid since public furor erupted over the harsh lockdown in Shanghai.
"Our prevention and control strategy is determined by the party's nature and mission, our policies can stand the test of history, our measures are scientific and effective," the seven-member committee said, according to government news agency Xinhua.
"We have won the battle to defend Wuhan, and we will certainly be able to win the battle to defend Shanghai," it said.