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Hong Kongers Protest China's Zero-Covid Policies

Source: Anthony Kwan / Getty

China is wracked by protests amid it’s “zero Covid policy.” From the Financial Times:

Just over a month ago, before Xi was crowned party leader for an unprecedented third term, a banner of anti-government slogans hung from a bridge in Beijing was enough to cause a social media storm for the few hours it stayed up. Now videos of popular discontent are everywhere, and spreading faster than the censors can stop them.

The protests have brought together a broad coalition of interests: factory workers, shopkeepers, students and urban elites, all of whom have suffered under zero-Covid in different ways — from losing wages to foregoing international business travel. Two years ago, during the spread of less contagious and more deadly strains of the virus, the zero-Covid policy was successful in preserving the freedom of the majority at the cost of the minority of locked-down cities such as Wuhan. Now the country is much more united in its suffering.

China still has no easy exit from the zero-Covid policy. In Urumqi, the local government has made an unusual climbdown, announcing it had achieved the zero-Covid target and would be lifting the lockdown in stages. But the national government will not want to be seen to be making clear concessions lest people draw the conclusion that mass protests work.

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