Jan 20, 2021 07:41 PM

Former Wuhan Mayor Moved Sideways on Anniversary of Lockdown

What’s new: Zhou Xianwang, the mayor of Wuhan at the time of the Central Chinese city’s deadly coronavirus outbreak, has become a member of the Communist Party group at the provincial political advisory body in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital.

The 58-year-old former mayor, who is nearing his retirement age of 60, first appeared on Wednesday in his new role at a meeting held by Hubei Provincial People’s Political Consultative Conference. A party group functions as “the core of the leadership” at the relevant agency, according to the party constitution.

Why it matters: Last year, Zhou offered to resign in an explosive interview with state broadcaster CCTV for failing to disclose information about the outbreak in a timely manner and delaying a lockdown to staunch the spread of the pathogen.

“We closed the door (of the city), which may cut off the disease. However, we will be blamed by history,” he said at the time.

Official foot-dragging in Wuhan early last year is believed to have contributed to the failure to control the initial coronavirus outbreak that led to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

In the subsequent weeks and months, amid a public outcry, the Chinese government fired, demoted or disciplined certain officials charged with coordinating the initial response.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh ( and editor Heather Mowbray (

Download our app to receive breaking news alerts and read the news on the go.

You've accessed an article available only to subscribers
Share this article
Open WeChat and scan the QR code