Home NEWS Opinion: What five more years of zero-Covid China could look like -EnglishHindiBlogs-News

Opinion: What five more years of zero-Covid China could look like -EnglishHindiBlogs-News

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While this phrase was not in Cai’s original report and government censors quickly removed the misleading quote, the overwhelming response to the news on social media raises the question of whether China is really going to zero in on this as a long-term strategy. – Serious about advancing Kovid. (Let’s call it “Long Zero-Covid”). And if so, how feasible is it – and what it means for China and the world.

As Chinese government officials have repeatedly said, a dynamic zero-Covid strategy does not seek to have absolute zero infections. Instead, it focuses on cutting the local transmission chain and bringing the situation under control in the shortest possible period after a local outbreak or outbreak is detected.

With the emergence and global spread of new subtypes that may escape the immunity provided by vaccination and prior infections, however, any victory against the virus under zero-Covid is short-lived.

That China faces the threat of being overtaken by the virus justifies the application of the strategy to the end of the pandemic (which is not in sight anytime soon).

True, the Omicron version appears to be less serious than the original version — Shanghai Registered A 0.1% COVID-19 Mortality Rate between 1st April and May 31, the same level as seasonal influenza.

State media and top government epidemiologists still highlight the danger of the variant, and the worst-case scenario – characterized by mass dying and the collapse of hospital systems – still defies the official narrative on the potential consequences of pivoting away from zero. Still working. -Covid.

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And after moving away from a zero-Covid surge of cases in their East Asian neighbors, top officials have become convinced that the pandemic will end (or at least until truly effective vaccines or therapeutics are widely available). Stick to zero-covid. ) is the only viable way to avoid the worst case scenario.
And if China succeeds in achieving that objective, it can still claim the success of its pandemic response and argue that it demonstrates the superiority of its political system. President Xi Jinping during his visit to Wuhan on Tuesday Claimed China’s COVID-19 response is one of the most economical and effective in the world, and the country “has the capacity and strength to implement a zero-Covid dynamic until the ultimate victory.”
How long is a zero-covid possible? It is hard to dispute that the policy carries significant socioeconomic costs and is increasingly unpopular middle class in China. But in a country where those in power are not accountable to the people, popularity has rarely been the main driver of the public policy process.
one child policy However it brutally infringed upon the freedom of reproduction which the Chinese people had enjoyed for several thousand years. Indeed, initially a proposal introduced in 1980 to members of the Communist Party and Youth League, the idea soon became institutionalized and internalized as a “basic state policy”, which lasted for the next 36 years.
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Similarly, China has moved to regularize epidemic control through regular PCR testing and rigorous health checks in residential communities and public places. The ability to contain COVID-19 infections in Shanghai and Beijing gives confidence among top decision-makers that the Chinese state is still resilient and resourceful enough to keep the virus at bay, no matter how costly and difficult it may be. Are.

Other developments also facilitate longer zero-Covid searches. Public support for the policy appears to remain strong in smaller towns and rural areas (where access to alternative information is significantly limited), despite growing social discontent in large cities such as Shanghai and Beijing.

Many Chinese are opposed to zero-Covid, not only because of its promise of health benefits, but also because of the non-health consequences of the infection (for example, being subject to strict quarantine and isolation along with stigma).

Over time, the marginal cost of implementing a strategy with easy access to testing facilities may become more tolerable, a steep drop in the cost of conducting large-scale testing, high-tech tools in monitoring people’s movements, and a heavy burden on social forces. Dependency and Internalization Zero-Covid Rule in Chinese Society.

The socio-political, economic and foreign policy impact of the long zero-Covid, however, may be much deeper and more permanent than the government thinks.

Once people realize that zero-Covid is no longer a momentary phenomenon, they will adapt to change by re-adjusting their expectations and behavior patterns. As former editor-in-chief of Global Times accepted Once he became aware of a possible continuation of zero-Covid in Beijing: “No one wants to be in Beijing for the next five years, as has happened in the first half of this year.”
Citizens may discount the future more heavily and adopt a pessimistic attitude. mental health problem, already Worse than epidemic in China, will certainly be increased by zero-Covid in the long run. Combined, more people may be encouraged to engage in risk-taking behavior, even turning their backs on the government.
The government may also refuse to exit from zero-covid accelerate the trend of people exiting and migrating out of the system. The growing uncertainty and risk of doing business in China will also prompt investors to reduce their presence in China, leading to a mass exodus.
Meanwhile, long-term zero-covid will prevent foreigners from going to China, even if the government has Easy entry requirements, In response, China may become more introverted, even degenerate into another monk kingdom,

And with deep misunderstandings and mistrust between China and the West, the fall of the bamboo curtain will no longer be a distant reality.

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