One of the greatest public shows of defiance against the ruling Communist Party has been taking to the streets in opposition of the country's strict zero- Covid policy.

China Steps Up Measures To Control COVID Outbreaks

China is the only country with a zero Covid strategy.

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Zero- Covid is Beijing's signature policy and is centered around eliminating the virus rather than just keeping it at bay.

One of the world's toughest regimes uses strict lockdowns, isolation and mass testing in places where cases have been reported.

Millions of people in China have been locked down over a few Covid cases, with reports of shoppers and workers fleeing stores and factories to avoid being locked inside.

Some zones are guarded and drones are used to make sure that they are complying with the rules.

There are many reports of residents struggling to get food, medical care and other essentials, as well as being prevented from leaving buildings during disasters.

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The death of 10 people in an apartment fire in the western city of Urumqi led to protests in many Chinese cities. The deaths are thought to have been prevented from happening because people were not allowed to escape and help was not able to arrive. One of the only countries still pursuing a strict policy of Covid elimination is China. While far from the first Covid protests in China during the epidemic, these protests present a particular challenge for the president, who has staked a lot of political capital on the policy and continued to defend it as sound. In a rare and unusual show of defiance, demonstrators have openly criticized the policy and called for it to be changed.

China's zero- Covid policy has been defended by the president, but he has yet to suggest a way out of the epidemic. In May, when he once again reiterated Beijing's commitment to zero Covid, he ordered officials to "unswervingly adhere to the general policy of dynamic zero- Covid." The China's lockdowns have been effective.

What We Don’t Know

There is no easy way to get out of zero- Covid for China. eradication of the virus that causes Covid-19 is the only way to end zero- Covid. It will not happen in the near future according to most experts. Beijing has not been able to use the time it has been stuck using strict lockdowns to build up immunity in the population because it has not used that time to do so. China failed to immunize its most vulnerable people, notably the elderly, failed to improve its healthcare system, and refused offers of effective western vaccines in the three years that the policy was in place.


China's poor vaccine rates, lack of natural immunity from previous infections, and the spread of highly infectious variant like omicron could make a departure from zero- Covid a disaster. Beijing's stringent measures have saved lives during the Pandemic. One of the lowest death rates per capita in the world can be found in China. There have been around 5,200 Covid deaths in China since the beginning of the Pandemic. In Idaho, there have been around the same number of deaths. The case rate is among the lowest in the world. If it changes course, experts warn that the country could face a huge wave of cases that could overwhelm hospitals and kill hundreds of thousands of people. As many as 2.1 million people will die if the policy is lifted, according to Airfinity.

Key Background

Beijing has an approach to zero- Covid that can be felt far beyond the country's borders. According to the International Monetary Fund, China is the world's largest economy by a significant margin, and it is also the world's leading exporter. The policy of shutting down factories in China has caused supply chain issues around the world. The continued disruption threatens global economic recovery as well as Beijing's strategy has prompted global economic and business leaders to urge Beijing to change course The policy has been criticized by public health leaders.

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