On Thursday, December 1 at 19:30 GMT:
Nearly three years into the pandemic, China continues to enforce strict lockdowns under its “zero-COVID” strategy. Public anger over COVID restrictions has erupted into protests in major cities, and while China has kept its case numbers low compared to other nations, critics including the World Health Organization, believe that government measures have been unnecessarily harsh and unsustainable.
Last week China reported an all-time high in its number of daily locally transmitted cases. The nation also reported its first COVID deaths in six months, fuelling more doubt and discontent towards government restrictions.
Protests spread in cities including Beijing and Shanghai after a fire last Thursday killed 10 people allegedly trapped under lockdown in a Xinjiang apartment building. Some demonstrations included calls for President Xi Jinping to step down.
Increasing anger over quarantine measures have led citizens to question whether the government’s COVID strategy is working in their interest. Earlier this year, a lockdown in Shanghai resulted not only in business closures, but food shortages and restrictions in non-COVID-related medical care.
In this episode of The Stream, we’ll look at China’s “zero-COVID” strategy and the social unrest that has stemmed from it.
On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Yaqiu Wang, @Yaqiu
Senior China researcher, Human Rights Watch
Dali Yang, @Dali_Yang
Professor of political science, University of Chicago
Anouk Eigenraam, @askimono
China correspondent, FD/BNR