China's Faltering 'Zero COVID' Policy: Politics in Command, Economy in Reverse   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Introduction: "After COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] emerged in Wuhan two years ago, it spread rapidly around the world, infecting hundreds of millions and taking over six million lives. After subduing the initial outbreak, China shut its door to the pandemic by imposing a strict regime of residential lockdowns and business shutdowns, quarantines, mass testing, and stringent border controls. The response--which Beijing calls 'dynamic clearing' (动态 清零), but is widely known as zero COVID--succeeded in keeping the virus at bay for nearly two years. It is a policy that Chinese president Xi Jinping and his minions have used to fortify China's aspirations to global leadership and to solidify Xi's unchallenged political position atop the Chinese Communist Party. The policy's initial effectiveness--after the initial Wuhan outbreak killed several thousand Chinese citizens--provided a wellspring of propaganda for Beijing to declare the superiority of its policies and political system as competitors, most notably the United States, struggled at times to contain the disease."

2022 The Atlantic Council of the United States
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