COVID Protests: China Asserts Security Response, Ease of 'Inconvenience'

    Photo: cnbc

    The Facts

    • Residents of China who attended weekend protests against COVID restrictions claim they have been contacted by police demanding information surrounding their whereabouts. Reports claim police have also begun searching cellphones for VPNs as well as blocked apps such as Telegram and Twitter.

    • The reaction is reportedly a wide-ranging response by the security apparatus of Xi Jinping to squelch dissent. PRC state media reported an official security meeting that asserted that authorities would “resolutely crack down on illegal and criminal acts that disrupt social order.”

    The Spin

    Pro-China narrative

    The COVID situation is tenuous and dangerous in China, but PRC officials are doing their best to reduce the inconvenience to citizens in economic and public life. That said, the virus is spreading quickly across the country in a complex way, and is a threat to public health and safety. There must be even more targeted measures now, but a whole-of-society approach is needed to navigate the COVID threat.

    Anti-China narrative

    It's clear that many people in China are tired of the increasingly ineffective zero-Covid strategy, and the world is bracing for the worst. While the protests will put pressure on Beijing, the PRC's use of ineffective non-mRNA vaccines could make for a national and even global health crisis. China is now stuck in the volatile position to overwhelm its extremely fragile healthcare system or continue to face public outcry over draconian policies.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that China will end its "Covid-Zero" policy by July 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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