BEIJING – With just days to go before China’s 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party starts on Sunday, Beijing is festooned with giant red banners with political slogans, while mass gatherings and events are cancelled or postponed, and rules for entering the city have been stepped up in a bid to prevent a Covid-19 outbreak.

For residents of the capital, used to disruptions due to important political meetings, it feels like yet another event to endure before life goes back to normal.

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