As China Doubles Down on Lockdowns, Some Chinese Seek an Exit

Clara Xie had long wondered whether she might leave China one day. She chafed at the country’s censorship regime, and as a lesbian, she wanted to live in a country more accepting of same-sex relationships. Still, the idea felt distant — she was young, and didn’t even know which country she would choose. The coronavirus, and China’s stringent efforts to stop it, thrust the question to the front of her mind. Two years of travel restrictions have made it impossible for Ms. Xie, 25, to see her girlfriend, who lives…

Shanghai Declares Victory in Covid Outbreak, but Lockdowns Continue

Shanghai health officials said on Tuesday that the city had brought the Covid outbreak there under control, after a nearly two-month lockdown that disrupted residents’ access to food and medicine, stoked widespread public outrage and brought China’s financial center to a standstill. At a news conference, officials pledged to restart normal life as soon as possible, with a goal of reopening fully by June. Some businesses, bus lines and parks had been allowed to resume operations on Monday. Twelve trains were also allowed to leave from Shanghai’s Hongqiao train station…

A Coming Fall Surge?

Expecting a fall surge The Biden administration is preparing for the possibility that 100 million Americans will be infected with the coronavirus this fall and winter, according to an administration official. That’s lower than the number of Americans who were infected during the Omicron wave in December and January, but still amounts to roughly 30 percent of the U.S. population. Should that scenario play out, my colleague Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports, the administration’s goal is to prevent a spike in hospitalizations and deaths. One way that might be accomplished would…

Has Shanghai Been Xinjianged?

Shanghai and Xinjiang used to be the two sides of the China coin. Shanghai was the glamorous China, with skyscrapers, Art Deco apartments and a thriving middle class that shopped in Paris and strolled around Kyoto, Japan. Xinjiang was the dark China. The western frontier region, which is twice the size of Texas, is home to more than 10 million Muslim ethnic minorities who have been subject to mass detentions, religious repression and intrusive digital and physical surveillance. Since April, the 25 million residents of Shanghai have gotten a small…

China’s Covid Lockdowns Leave Millions Out of Work

After over a month in lockdown, Zeng Jialin could finally return to the Shanghai auto parts factory where he had worked. He was about to be released from a quarantine facility, having recovered from Covid, and was desperate to make up for the many days of wages he had missed. But on Tuesday, the day he was supposed to be released, someone in the crowded isolation facility tested positive again. Mr. Zeng, 48, was ordered to wait 14 more days. “I have three kids, in college, middle school and elementary…

Under Lockdown in China

At the height of China’s worst Covid outbreak, the authorities in Shanghai took over gleaming high-rise office buildings and turned them into mass isolation centers. Floor after floor, room after room, the buildings were filled with people, their beds arranged in tight rows. Those buildings, and the broader lockdown of Shanghai, reinforced the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s power to marshal resources in its quest to eliminate Covid. But they also fueled deep frustration with the government’s failures and overreach. In eastern Shanghai, police officers in white protective suits clashed with…

Beijing’s Testing Surge

Beijing’s testing surge Beijing is racing to test nearly all of its 22 million residents three times over five days in a high-stakes bid to avoid a similar fate as Shanghai, where millions of residents have been forced into an almost unbearable monthlong lockdown. Today millions of Beijing residents took their second round of tests, and officials from the Chinese capital announced that they had uncovered an additional 46 cases. The city identified three more neighborhoods today as high-risk and four more as medium-risk, designations that both prompt lockdowns. Overall,…

China’s Covid Strategy: Test 20 Million in Beijing Amid Lockdown Fears

Beijing officials urged residents to work remotely, and they suspended large-scale gatherings such as cultural performances, sports events and exhibitions. Some streets in Chaoyang, where most of the cases have been detected so far, were uncommonly quiet. Officials had earlier identified a small area elsewhere in the district, covering about a square mile of southern Chaoyang, where they ordered residents locked down or discouraged them from leaving their homes. Many Chaoyang residents appeared to be heeding such advice, with sidewalk eateries and shops left with no patrons. Concerns about a…

China’s GDP Data Hint at Heavy Cost of its Zero Covid Strategy

BEIJING — Faced with its worst Covid-19 outbreak yet, China has been enforcing an expanding number of mass quarantines, strict lockdowns and border controls. The measures may yet work, but official data released on Monday show they are exacting a grim toll on the world’s second-largest economy. China’s economy expanded 4.8 percent in the first three months of this year compared to the same period last year. That pace was barely faster than the final three months of last year, and it also obscured a looming problem. Much of that…

China’s ‘Zero-Covid’ Mess Proves Autocracy Hurts Everyone

After the city locked down its 25 million residents and grounded most delivery services in early April, many people encountered problems sourcing food, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Some set multiple alarms for the different restocking times of grocery delivery apps that start as early as 6 a.m. Updated  April 13, 2022, 6:35 a.m. ET In the past few days, a hot topic in WeChat groups has been whether sprouted potatoes were safe to eat, a few Shanghai residents told me. Neighbors resorted to a barter system to exchange, say,…