Let’s start with the story of an incredibly disappearing summit.
Every August the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership converges upon the town of Beidaihe, a seaside resort two hours away from Beijing, to discuss serious policies that then coalesce into key planning strategies to be approved at the CCP Central Committee plenary session in October.
The Beidaihe ritual was established by none other than the Great Helmsman. Mao Zedong couldn’t help loving a town where Emperor Qin, unifier of China in the 3rd century BC, had kept a palace.
As 2020 is so far a notorious Year of Living Dangerously, there’s no surprise that in the end Beidaihe was nowhere to be seen. The semi-official spin is that no get-together happened at Beidaihe because of Covid-19.
Yet Beidaihe’s invisibility does not mean it did not happen.