lørdag 26. mars 2022

China doesn't have a Covid exit plan. Two years in, people are fed up and angry

For two years, people in China have largely tolerated living under some of the world's most stringent Covid-19 controls. Restricted borders, constant digital tracking, and the potential for mass testing and snap lockdowns whenever a handful of cases appeared were all trade-offs for a comparatively Covid-free life while the pandemic raged overseas.

But China's inability to bring its latest outbreak under control so far has prompted online rumblings from frustrated citizens, as questions about Beijing's zero-Covid strategy break into the mainstream for the first time. In the tech hub of Shenzhen on Sunday, videos shared online showed residents protesting in a locked-down district, after restrictions lasted for several days longer than scheduled, according to social media posts.

"You can't do this -- we need to eat and pay the rent," a man among a crowd of protesters is heard yelling in anguish at health care workers, who stood behind high plastic barriers, according to a video shared online. "Unlock! We demand lifting the lockdown!" others shouted in a second clip.