China has returned with full force to measures to block activities after a new wave of contamination by Covid-19. In order to contain a new epidemic, the country has spared no effort to insure itself against worse consequences.
However, this new stoppage, which has been going on since March 2022, has left the population unsatisfied. In addition, the international scenario is lacking in China’s position in the face of recent clashes between Russia and the West, consequences of the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Finally, the Chinese population itself questions the austere policy. Excessive care and the lack of an immediate solution has sounded like a waste of resources.
New infections and austere politics
Unfortunately, Covid-19 has not been eradicated from the map, and new infections reappear every day. Many lives are being lost in what can be called a new outbreak of the disease, which started in March 2022.
The new outbreak is being treated as or more rigorously than when the disease was discovered. This is due to the difficult situation that China has already faced at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, as well as the huge number of people that the country is home to, which makes an epidemic much worse.
The main measures to contain a new epidemic are total or partial lockdowns in the country’s main cities. Shanghai, the country’s largest city and a major financial hub, was closed in March and April.
The population is dissatisfied with the measures. The consecutive tests that have been done appear to be a waste of resources. The problem in fact, on the other hand, does not seem to have a solution in the short term.
Some measures have been criticized on social media, such as breaking into homes to detect the disease and arresting tourists in cities where the lockdowns were established. China is not in the worst situation compared to other Asian countries. However, it is definitely the country that has the most austere policy regarding the return of the epidemic.
The tests are carried out to millions of people and booster doses have been applied to the population. The government’s biggest concern is to avoid the risk of an epidemic, but society and scientists point out that the measures are exaggerated and hurt the dignity of citizens.
Political and economic consequences
The Chinese government proposes the return of the more intense blockade even if it represents the fall of the results of the second strongest economy in the world. International politics has also been put on the back burner due to the growth in infections.
Regarding the economy, the second quarter of 2022 presented results much lower than the first for China. The immediate cause of this slowdown is precisely the blockages and closures of shops as a result of the new wave of Covid-19.
Chinese GDP has already dropped 2.6% for the second quarter. The expectation was that this deceleration could be a maximum of 1.5%. In Shanghai alone, this drop was more than 13%.
The strategy adopted by the government has been the same as in other countries with economic and supply crises: raising interest rates to contain inflation. However, this measure has a reverse effect as it makes consumption by the population more difficult. The measure aims to avoid recession.
In the political environment, the lack of China is also being felt. China is seen as a very influential agent on the international scene.
Thus, an eventual Chinese position in relation to the clash between Russia and Ukraine could minimize the difficulty of dialogue between Russia and Western countries. The war and the resulting crisis have consequences for all countries in the world.
Still, faced with the growing number of infections and the possibility of a new epidemic in the country by Covid-19, China has focused on solving internal issues and does not put itself in the face of questions that emerge every day in foreign policy.