context: Hu Xijin’s article reflects how more and more people both inside and outside decision-making circles believe that relaxing the zero-COVID policy is a choice. However, Beijing still insists the current prevention policy is the only option, or at least having to maintain it ostensibly. Facing increasing pressure from public opinion and the economic slowdown, Beijing relaxed some restrictions to protect the economy but at the same time muzzled people who badmouthed the policy. In addition, Hong Hao 洪灏 BOCOM International chief strategist was muzzled and fired because of his gloomy predictions about China’s future economic performance.

Firmly opposing all comments and behaviours that distort, question, or deny China’s prevention policy, Xi Jinping presided over the Politburo Standing Committee meeting on 5 May 2022 which focused on discussing the COVID-19, specifically

  • recognising the correctness of the current prevention policy
    • the policy is determined by the Party’s nature
  • the prevention campaign in Shanghai will be triumphant, given the success of the campaign in Wuhan in 2020
  • the final direction of the epidemic is uncertain, given the virus is still mutating
  • denying the possibility of relaxation
  • strengthening prevention capabilities, ensuring
    • livelihood goods are supplemented
    • there is regional cooperation
    • hospitals can function normally
    • there is no ‘one size fits all’ policy