Among the resources President Xi Jinping has deployed to arrest surging COVID deaths in Hong Kong is the Communist Party’s pandemic fighter: a 71-year-old woman whose career at the near-top illuminates the glass ceiling in the world’s most populous country.

Sun Chunlan is the only female vice premier in China’s entrenched patriarchy, the sole woman on its powerful 25-member Politburo and, more recently, the top official overseeing its pandemic control. Now, she’s been marshaled to help across the Hong Kong border, local media including the South China Morning Post have reported.

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