This is going well.
Beijing’s top official reportedly pledged five more years of “unwaveringly” sticking to China’s zero-Covid policies, state-run media said Monday, before swiftly removing the reference to how much longer the capital must live with pandemic controls…
Beijing Daily gave no explanation for why it removed the five-year reference from the article, and the phrase couldn’t be heard on a video recording of Communist Party Secretary of Beijing Cai Qi’s speech.
It’s the 5-year-plan.
Before the words could be cut from the text version, China’s internet users posted a flood of tearful emojis and memes expressing their emotional exhaustion with the Covid controls that have become a fixture of everyday life.
The fun never stops under Communist rule.
The pandemic controls that would stay in place include routine PCR tests, strict entry rules, regular health checks in residential neighborhoods and public venues, as well as rigorous monitoring and testing for people entering and leaving Beijing, state media quoted Cai as saying.
“I have to rethink whether I should continue to stay in Beijing in the long term,” one user wrote on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform.
“For the next five years…what is the point of being alive even,” another user said.
Weibo has since banned the hashtag “for the next five years” from its platform.
That’s bound to reassure everyone. Especially as the public health regime becomes a blank check for political control.
China’s continued use of such pervasive, technology-based social controls comes amid growing concern that they are both here to stay and are prone to abuse. In one recent example, officials in the central city of Zhengzhou switched the health codes of more than a thousand bank customers to color red—indicating high risk related to Covid-19 infections—to stop them joining protests over four rural banks in the region accused of financial misconduct.
One of the would-be protesters, Ye Mijian, said that when he tried to leave the Zhengzhou train station, his green code switched to red and he was confined to a hotel.
Good thing that could never happen in America.