China remains locked in its all-out fight against COVID. It’s a perfect excuse to isolate yourself from the world

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For almost everyone, the time of lockdowns, perimeter closures and quarantines, despite being extremely recent, has become a bad memory. Not so for China. The Asian country continues to maintain very restrictive policies with the aim of continuing to contain contagion, which is causing the Chinese, who were already walking at a very different pace from the rest of the world for economic and, above all, political reasons, to be increasingly more isolated from the West.

hard to get in. Since the spread of coronavirus began in Wuhan at the end of 2019, China has been tightening its control policies until on March 28, 2020, it prohibited the entry into the country of almost any foreign citizen, even those who held visas and residence permits still valid. Although in August of that same year, given the improvement in the epidemiological situation, these measures were relaxed, today it is still very difficult to enter the country, move within it and even have a normal life in its main cities.

According to explains the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, China currently continues to deny entry to a significant number of foreigners, even those with residence and work permits, and makes only a few exceptions. It is not even allowing the reunification of relatives of mixed marriages between foreign nationals and Chinese. For the return of nationals, in addition, the Asian country requires that they be immunized with one of the Chinese vaccines.

People who get the complicated permission from the Chinese authorities to enter the country, in addition, have to undergo medical tests upon arrival and quarantine for 14 days in a hotel designated by the Asian Administration for it before being able to move to your destination. Likewise, international flights do not arrive directly to Beijing or Shanghai, two of the main ones in China and those that usually attract more visitors, especially for work and business reasons.

Movements within China. If entering the Asian country is complex, moving within its borders is no less so. According to updated information from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese Administration requires the use of certain mobile applications to control the movement of nationals and foreigners within cities and regions. If you do not use any of these apps, which also record the PCR tests that people who are in the country have to carry out almost daily, you cannot access practically any commercial establishment, place of leisure or official building.

To these policies must be added the possibility that local authorities decree mandatory quarantines or perimeter closures due to contagion, such as the one imposed sine die in Shanghai on March 28 due to an uncontrolled outbreak of the Omicron variant, or the most recent in wuhanwhere almost a million people living in one of the city’s districts were confined at the end of July after four unique asymptomatic cases of Covid were detected.

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Impact. These strict control policies to avoid massive contagion are having several important consequences. In the first place, Chinese citizens are seeing even more surveillance by their authorities who, with the excuse of the virus, can control a good part of their movements and decree their home confinement, and also more exploited at work. And secondly, for the country as a whole, as the harsh restrictions are making China an increasingly unattractive place for foreign investment and a very difficult political entity to deal with.

Similarly, foreign companies already working in China are seriously considering leaving the country. As we already explained in Xataka, 23% of the European companies that operate there were thinking of moving to other locations because the restrictions are harming their business.

Zoom Diplomacy. The restrictions are so strict that not even high-ranking politicians and diplomats are exempt from them. According to El Mundo, China very rarely allows face-to-face meetings for diplomacy-related matters, domestic public authorities are not allowed to travel abroad for it, and foreign authorities are not allowed to enter the country. Most of the meetings with people from other governments are done through video calls.

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In fact, Chinese President Xi Jinping has only left China once. since the pandemic started: He did it last June to visit Hong Kong on the 25th anniversary of the transfer of power from the city by the British to the Chinese authorities. For everything else, even for bilateral meetings with important world leaders such as Joe Biden, President of the United States, he has opted for video calls.

All this is making China increasingly isolated from the rest of the world, since it is the only country in which such strict restrictions are maintained due to Covid.

Save lifes. The Chinese government, which is no stranger to this criticism from abroad, assures that thanks to the measures it is applying it has managed to save millions of lives without harming the country’s economic and social development. In accordance with the official Covid figures of the Asian country Until July 2022, since the start of the pandemic, only 227,000 Chinese would have been infected and 5,225 would have died from the virus.

Image | Ketut Subiyanto

For almost everyone, the time of lockdowns, perimeter closures and quarantines, despite being extremely recent, has become a bad memory.…

For almost everyone, the time of lockdowns, perimeter closures and quarantines, despite being extremely recent, has become a bad memory.…

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