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‘Zero-Covid’ for another five years?

It is a mere half of a sentence that made the proverbial jaws of many Chinese drop. “In the next five years, Beijing will resolutely, unremittingly, do a good job in normalizing pandemic prevention controls,” Beijing’s top Party Secretary Cai Qi announced in the state newspaper Beijing Ribao. What sounds like a trivial statement in the flowery words of the 66-year-old government official means in simple words: 1.4 billion Chinese will likely have to come to terms with the exhausting zero-Covid normalcy of lockdowns, mass testing, and closed borders in the Given

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