The big China story this recent week is the sudden de facto abandonment of its zero-Covid strategy, by lifting several restrictions regarding testing and quarantine as well as travelling and lockdowns.
As this week’s cartoon by Niklas ”@Kludd-Niklas” Eriksson here on Kinamedia shows, Xi Jinping’s signature Covid policies are now ditched for the usual oppressive restrictions of his dictatorship.
On the one hand, as the cartoon shows, a declining economy might be preferable to fires breaking out in sealed apartment buildings and increasingly aggressive communal health workers.
But on the other hand, it’s hardly freedom that awaits the Chinese people even if the health workers disappear from the streets. Indeed, as could be heard during the widespread protests two weeks ago, people also called upon basic rights such as freedom of speech and information.
It’s hard to assess to which extent the scrapped Covid restrictions is connected to those protests, or if the economic troubles that zero-Covid inevitably brought with it was what changed the mind of the leadership in the end.
At any rate, the current state of affairs are unlikely to make every single protester happy.
And as long as they believe that their actions had anything to do with the opening up that has unfolded since, it would not be surprising if the protesters again in similar fashion expressed their discontent with any of the other restrictions that continues to limit their rights even after zero-Covid is abandoned.
This week’s cartoon can be viewed in full size here.
A full collection of Kludd-Niklas’ works for Kinamedia can be seen via this link.