A pandemic prevention worker in a protective suit keeps watch at at residential compound after it was locked down as outbreaks of Covid-19 continue in Beijing, 18 November 2022. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Chinese local governments struggle to find perfect way to ease pandemic rules

Various areas in China have responded to the new “20 measures” for Covid-19 controls, as announced by the Chinese central government on 11 November. Zaobao’s China Desk takes a look at how various local authorities have — or have not — adjusted their measures and the public’s reaction.
Barriers surround a neighborhood placed under lockdown due to Covid-19 in Shenzhen, China, on 19 November 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Two steps forward, three steps back: Lockdowns in China still prevalent

Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks at how Covid controls have changed — or not — in various places in China following the announcement of the new 20 measures to ease Covid controls. Going by the measures implemented, it seems that lockdowns and testing seem to still be the default in curbing Covid in China.
Participants run past Tiananmen Gate during the Beijing Marathon in Beijing, China, 6 November 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Chinese ambassador Sun Haiyan: Why not think about China in this way?

Chinese ambassador to Singapore Sun Haiyan responds to an article by Lee Huay Leng, editor-in-chief of SPH Chinese Media Group. She notes that while individual stories have to be remembered, national policies have to take into account the big picture. The difficult but necessary decisions taken on Covid management reflect this.
Medical workers take swap samples from residents for Covid-19 at a testing site in Chongqing, China, 3 November 2022. (China Daily via Reuters)

Lockdowns or not: China's officials face new dilemma implementing anti-Covid measures

Chongqing is seeing its worst outbreak in three years, and although residential communities have been put under restrictions similar to 2020, the local authorities have not called it a citywide lockdown, leading to confusion. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong looks at how Chongqing is handling the latest wave, including a new regional coordination strategy proposed by party secretary Chen Min’er.
A mural of the Communist Party of China flag in Beijing, China, on 14 November 2022. (Bloomberg)

What to think about when you think about China under Covid

Lee Huay Leng, editor-in-chief of SPH Chinese Media Group, believes that the personal stories of ordinary people in China during Covid times form a rich tapestry of China’s story too. When all this is past, and one looks back on the present, apart from national pride, will personal dignity and feelings be remembered?
Residents at a Covid-19 testing booth in Beijing, China, on 14 November 2022. A surge in Covid cases threatens to turn into an early test of China’s resolve to ease some of its strict virus controls, after health officials on the weekend said the changes were a refinement, not a relaxation, of the rules. (Bloomberg)

China eases pandemic rules but people are worried

On 11 November, China eased pandemic rules with the announcement of 20 new measures. While this signals that the Chinese government is ready to open up to alleviate pressures on its market and economy, many Chinese citizens are worried that the pandemic will wreak havoc in the country.
A man walks past a mural on a street in Beijing, China, on 28 September 2022. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Being black in China: Loving something that doesn't always love you back

A young black American who has just finished his master’s in Beijing gives a first-hand account of being viewed as the Other in China. Despite some negative encounters, the conversations he has had in the local language and the friendships he has forged have made the experience all worthwhile.
A screen grab from a video showing people leaving Foxconn in Zhengzhou. (Twitter)

Chinese workers fleeing Foxconn highlights China's zero-Covid dilemma

An outbreak at Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou, Henan province adds to the latest spate of Covid-19 cases in China. Prior to the lockdown of the factory area, many workers were seen “escaping” on foot. Amid the wave of criticism from the Chinese public, the incident has revealed flaws in the management at the factory as well as the lack of transparency from the government.
A health worker takes a swab sample from a man to test for the Covid-19 coronavirus in the Huangpu district in Shanghai on 24 October 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

No end to China’s zero-Covid in the short term

China’s stock markets rose following an unverified tweet on 1 November claiming China might ease its zero-Covid policy. However, signals from state media and various local governments suggest otherwise and the market rally has died down as well. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong examines the clues and analyses what might happen next.