Beijing says zero-Covid policy to last up to five years

Authorities in Beijing have sparked confusion and alarm after announcing the strict zero-Covid policy could be in place for the next five years, including mass mandatory testing and travel restrictions.

The notice, published on Monday afternoon, was attributed to Cai Qi, the Beijing secretary of the Chinese Communist party. The original text said: “In the next five years, Beijing will unremittingly grasp the normalisation of epidemic prevention and control.”

The notice was first posted by Beijing Daily and republished by other state media outlets. It spread widely across social media, but soon the reference to “five years” was removed from most online publications, and a related hashtag on Weibo was deleted.

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There seems to be no definitive explanation for this. One possible explanation is Xi Jinping, having launched a zero-covid policy, is incapable of backing down now. Another explanation is Xi is preparing for war against Taiwan and possibly USA, either offensively or defensively. A third explanation is the Chinese economy is in very bad shape so Xi is preparing the population for hard times ahead. Some believe a major world war is possible involving USA against an alliance of China and Russia. Best to keep these and other possibilities in mind as we watch events unfold. ABN

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