by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
China’s ruling communist party (CCP) recently announced it is doubling down on its “Zero Covid” strategy, wherein it is forcibly locking down and oppressing millions of Chinese citizens with the ostensible goal of completely stamping out the respiratory virus.
A little over a week ago, members of the CCP’s ruling Politburo Standing Committee held a meeting in which party leadership reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining the government’s current lockdown policies in major cities like Shanghai. According to a report from the China Media Project, a Chinese news watchdog, a readout of the meeting published in the state-run People’s Daily “is dominated by words like ‘persistence’ and ‘unshakeable’” to describe the party’s devotion to preventing new Covid cases in the nation.
“The resolve to ‘persist’ in the dynamic zero approach comes also with the message that dissent over the policy will not be tolerated,” the China Media Project report added. “The readout notes that the Party must ‘resolutely struggle against all distortions, doubts and denials of our epidemic prevention policy.’”
Since the CCP reinitiated its “Zero Covid” policy several months ago, millions of Chinese civilians have endured immense suffering. As noted by Federalist senior contributor Helen Raleigh, “[R]esidents have been locked inside their apartments like animals, and some even have metal barriers and fences outside their homes,” with “[o]ne foreigner in Shanghai [telling] the BBC, ‘No one can get out, and I feel helpless.’”
Reports of “food shortages, lack of access to medical care,” and “overcrowded quarantine centers” have also become widespread in recent months.
While speaking with The Federalist, President of the Population Research Institute Steven Mosher noted that the CCP’s brutal tactics are beginning to generate pockets of resistance among Chinese citizens, with “food riots breaking out in different cities … in response to the continued lockdowns.”