A tale of two economies trying to put covid behind them
The Chinese Communist Party rarely steps back from mistaken policies
The Chinese Communist Party rarely steps back from mistaken policies. Even its historical assessment of Chairman Mao, whose legacy included millions of deaths during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, is tragically characterized to this day by the party as 70% correct, 30% wrong. But, this past week it abandoned its strategy of the past three years of using harsh lockdowns and draconian de facto police sieges of residential complexes and the rounding up of even those who merely came into contact with covid-positive people to send them off to institutional quarantines. In response to widespread protests since late November against these excesses of a surveillance state, the government allowed major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to relax rules significantly, with even home quarantine allowed and access to malls and other places eased.