According to Xi, the Chinese have to “align their minds” with their government: there is no room for doubt. Criticism of the corona eradication policy is not welcome.
This policy means that millions of citizens are confined to their homes for more than a month, as in Shanghai. Physical barriers were erected to prevent people from leaving anyway. In addition, advanced monitoring equipment is used.
China has long been considered a global success story in the field of coronavirus, with very few infections. But even “zero covid” does not appear to be able to handle the omicron variable. With thousands of infections a day across the country, it appears to China that the genie is out of the bottle.
This exposes the policy’s shortcomings: In Shanghai, where 25 million people live, food supply remains a problem due to the lockdown. Many other cities are already hoarding for fear of similar problems. There is also a significant increase in depression among people who sit at home for long periods of time.
The lockdown in Shanghai caused great anger among the residents.
Asian Games postponed
The Latest Victim of Zero Covid: International Events. Yesterday, it was announced that the Asian Games, a major sporting event in the Chinese city of Hangzhou that was scheduled to take place in September, will be postponed until further notice.
Hangzhou is a city of 12 million people near Shanghai. Last month, it was proudly reported that no fewer than 56 sports facilities are ready for the event. Like the Winter Games in Beijing, the city will use a quarantine and bubble system, as residents will not have contact with international athletes.
According to the organizing committee, the organization was in good shape, but Corona was a very big obstacle.
The economy has been hit hard
The economic consequences of China’s lockdowns are now significant: The European Chamber of Commerce, a European lobbying organization in Beijing, came this week with heavy criticism of “not having the virus.” According to the organization, China’s international trade position is seriously affected. So it expects a sharp drop in economic growth: less than 4 percent this year.
The economic damage is being felt in cities that are currently under lockdown. In Shanghai, millions of small entrepreneurs, self-employed and day laborers cannot go to work. Big companies are also suffering because of factory closures as well as transit ports.
Preventing political unrest
However, Xi would prefer not having any infection with the virus over China’s economy. A major party congress is scheduled for Beijing later this year, and Xi is likely to get a third term as leader.
According to experts, it is unlikely that Corona’s policy will be modified until then: Xi wants to prevent political unrest, possibly fueled by an increase in infections, at all costs.
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