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If Shanghai Communist Party chief Li Qiang has been politically bruised by the city’s struggle to tame a COVID-19 outbreak that has infuriated residents and caused severe economic damage, there is little sign of it.

A close ally of Chinese President Xi Jinping for decades, Li has long been seen as destined for the powerful Politburo Standing Committee this year, tracking a well-worn path from Shanghai’s top spot that many analysts say appears safe despite the city’s COVID-19 crisis.

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