Against the background of military dramatic events, everyone has almost forgotten about covid, which, however, did not disappear. When you look back at the times of the pandemic and the terrible isolation, you are once again convinced of the truth of the notion that all is known by comparison. Especially for those on both sides of the front in Ukraine right now.
There is only one country left in the world that lives according to the Kovid calendar without stopping the fight against infection. This is China. There, a policy of “zero tolerance to covid” was declared from the very beginning of the pandemic.
The recently held XX. The Communist Party Congress decided that such a policy was the only correct policy, not like in the rotten democratic West. And if so, then we should move on. And although the whole world has already closed this path of isolation, that is not a reason for the Chinese Communists to close it. Especially since Secretary General Xi Jinping said so. Therefore, even in the case of detection of isolated cases of infection, millions of cities are closed and continue to be quarantined. The total digital monitoring system created works like clockwork. You have a yellow level – please go to self-isolation for a week. With red – in the observation of the type of concentration camp light for two weeks. Tests in businesses almost every day. They can easily be removed from a train or plane by finding a dangerous “red level” on a smartphone or in a test. Sometimes apartment dwellers are locked by closing the front doors tightly. Workers are left in their workplaces indefinitely apart from their families. There are cases of separation of families with their children, including minors. Movement between cities and between cities and districts was prevented. People also, as a rule, do not receive a salary and often do not even go to the grocery store. Not life, but the dream of totalitarians of all countries! To realize such a dream “on the ground” in different countries, only obedient Chinese are not enough.
But they can no longer stand it. The cause of the relatively great unrest was a fire in a blocked apartment that killed nine people. Then the world media surrounded the images of the protests and clashes with the police. Spontaneous protests against “zero tolerance to the coronavirus” have been recorded in dozens of cities across the country. There have been radical calls from time to time to reject President Xi himself, it’s scary to say.
The debate about the efficacy or ineffectiveness of different vaccines can continue indefinitely, but let’s not reopen the old wounds of the vaccine wars. This is not about him. China can indeed be called a country that until recently was relatively successful in combating the spread of the infection. According to statistics, the worst example in this regard was America, where more than three thousand deaths per million people were recorded. In Europe and Russia, of course, if we believe our statistics, up to 2.5 thousand, but in China – less than 400 deaths per million.
But now officials fear more outbreaks amid an all-time high of 40,000 infections per day. And although the majority of the population has been vaccinated and revaccinated for a long time, the older generation of Chinese could not break the vaccine totalitarianism: the level of revaccination among the elderly is no more than 50% (now, they say, they began to catch up). If vaccination began with the elderly in Europe, then China took a different, more cynical path when “less valuable members of society” received less attention. Plus, super-strict quarantines have prevented the formation of a significant layer of the population naturally immunized against covid. And now, with the world still facing a mutated and relatively weakened strain of coronavirus, the Chinese population is starting from scratch.
In general, even many sick Chinese are tired of it.
In this context, Western media has already seen the headlines saying that a covid revolution is coming in the Celestial Empire and that the newly re-elected Xi himself is almost waiting, contrary to the tradition established under Deng Xiaoping. corner of history for the coup. However, the coverage of the Western press on China, especially the American press, should still be divided into 5 or 10. You should not rush to part with Comrade Xi.
First, the protests are spontaneous but not very massive. Even thousands of shows are hardly anything by Chinese standards. Protesters lack organization, a clear plan of action and leadership. And we saw what happens to the protests without a leading center not so long ago in the case of Belarus. Again, by comparison with Belarus, and only unless the protests are united by a split at the top, it is mostly doomed to defeat. President Xi radically resolved the division problem at the top, eliminating anyone who might oppose him. As Comrade said. Stalin, the cadres (themselves) decide everything.
Second, China doesn’t just have a well-functioning system of totalitarian monitoring and “social credit” (if you err against society, you can lose many financial advantages, from getting a good job to discounts in stores to health care), but also a brainwashing. system.
For example, how are the Chinese now watching the broadcasts from the football championship from Qatar in the stands and on the field, where everyone is unmasked and does not follow social distance. And so the rows of viewers are blurred and close-ups are not shown at all. Or such a trick has been invented that medical masks are applied to images, including football players. And don’t tell me that brainwashing doesn’t work. We already know this…
Third, while the authorities acted relatively mildly towards the protesters against the quarantine, no particular atrocities went unnoticed. Allegedly, they say, it will dissolve on its own without an organizing and guiding force. They make concessions. After the aforementioned fire, the curfew in Urumqi, where the current protest wave started, has been relaxed since August and people started to take to the streets. They promise to continue public transport and open shops and restaurants. In other cities, neighborhood quarantines were also relaxed (when crossing was prohibited), they began to limit the number of PCR tests. The quarantine was lifted after the virtual riots and protests at the 30 thousandth factory that produces Apple smartphones. News of partial easing comes from almost everywhere protests have erupted. Party officials go out to “talk” to people and promise to meet them halfway. Additionally, most of the protests are directed at “extremists on the field”, not top management. Still, they are not intended to “subvert the regime” (at least for now) and are unlikely to last long.
However, despite partial concessions, the country’s leadership under Xi Jinping will not drastically change course. At best, strictly under the control of the Communist Party, the quarantines will gradually weaken. And not just because the principle “must not succumb to the pressure of the street” has not been revoked for such regimes. And also because the immutable principle of any authoritarian regime (and President Xi has practically established just such a regime) is that the leader cannot make mistakes, the first-person view is always the only correct one and cannot be disputed. Especially in public. Moreover, it is impossible for a person to admit his mistakes. Second, it is tantamount to political death. For Xi Jinping, abandoning the “zero tolerance” policy would be tantamount to losing his reputation and authority. So it will continue for a while.
The author expresses his personal opinion, which may not coincide with the editors’ position.