As late as Saturday, local authorities promised that there would be no citywide lockdown of Shanghai due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in China’s biggest city.
But on Sunday evening, citizens were noticed that starting from Monday, Shanghai will be placed under lockdown in two phases during nine days in order to test all its 26 million citizens.
This week’s satire from cartoonist Niklas ”@Kludd-Niklas” Eriksson here on Kinamedia, portrays how Xi Jinping’s strategy of locking the virus out is instead putting tens of millions of Chinese under lockdown, at a time when the surrounding world is lifting pandemic related restrictions and opening up.
China’s ”zero-Covid” strategy has indeed been successful to minimise the number of infection and fatalities compared to the US and many other Western countries.
But as the pandemic goes on, it is increasingly obvious that the Chinese government is lacking an exit plan, after having made the low infection rate into propaganda portraying the Communist Party’s love and care for the population, as opposed to decadent countries with inefficient political systems in the West.
With the legitimacy of the Party and Xi Jinping’s leadership at stake, especially before the important Party congress this fall, China’s leadership sees no room for gambling with stability by adjusting its Covid policies.
At the same time, the rapid spread of the more contagious Omicron variant of Covid-19 in combination with the ”zero-Covid” approach is likely to cause countless lockdowns before then, damaging not only people’s livelihoods but the entire Chinese economy, as I wrote about at length yesterday.
After failing to lock the virus out, the leadership in Beijing is now likely to face a damned if you do and damned if you don’t scenario.
This week’s cartoon can be viewed in full size via this link.
A full collection of Kludd-Niklas’ works for Kinamedia can be seen here.