China’s “zero covid” policy was unsustainable and abruptly scrapped, but the absence of a coherent fallback strategy threatens a fresh set of nightmares for its population, its economy and the Communist Party leadership. A new crisis could shake the whole world. As the Wuhan outbreak demonstrated three years ago, what begins in China does not necessarily stay there. President Xi Jinping’s government had imposed draconian requirements for lockdowns, tests and forced quarantines during most of the pandemic. But once lifted on Dec. 7, the measures were followed by little guidance from the top. China’s party-state usually declares that everything is under control. Now, it appears to be quite unsettled. A wave of omicron infections is sweeping Beijing and might soon hit the rest of China.
Opinion: China’s new covid nightmare could become a global catastrophe
December 21, 2022