onsdag 20. mai 2020

China prepares to stage annual congress – and pretence of business as usual

Thousands of delegates streaming into Beijing for China’s most important political event of the year have undergone nucleic acid tests and quarantines amid what state media have called “wartime measures”. The National People’s Congress is usually a two-week affair of pomp and pageantry but this year’s event has been shortened and some sessions will be held over video link.

Railway stations have implemented extra screening for travellers coming to the capital and residential communities are meant to maintain strict “close management” – allowing only registered residents in and out. Officials have temporarily banned the sale of petrol in bulk, as well as firecrackers. Balloons for sporting events or other types of aerial advertising are also barred.