The Nation and the World

China Eases Covid Restrictions

Starting on December 7, China loosened its Covid restrictions, such as dropping requirements for showing negative Covid testing results before entering some public places and rolling back policies regarding the isolation of Covid patients. This policy change was due to the protests that broke out in cities in China, especially in Shanghai and Beijing. 

Before this, China adopted the “Zero Covid” method, which decreased the number of deaths in China, as China’s official death toll is 5,235, opposed to a U.S. count of 1.1 million. However, this lockdown had created difficulties for Chinese students who were studying abroad to go home. 

An anonymous Chinese student in the Dana community commented, “The ticket price from America to China was crazy, taking us about 100,000 RMB to get home.” Another student added that the quarantine process could take from 10 to 21 days last year to go back home. Then they expressed their appreciation for the work of the protesters and this action of the Chinese government.

In China, blank papers were displayed as a symbol during the protests. Ten people lost their lives in a fire in Xinjiang on November 16 because they were locked inside their rooms due to Covid restrictions and couldn’t escape when the fire broke out. The protesters claimed that they were mourning for those people – white symbolizes anguish in China – and expressing people’s hope for easing the policies regarding Covid. Some students in the Dana community joined this protest by adding Instagram stories of pictures of blank white papers.

In response to the Chinese policy change, a Chinese student who does not want her name to be published because of potential political fallout claimed that “easing restrictions is only a matter of time, and the protest sort of accelerated it.” She describes this as a “positive sign of the government responding to people’s voice rather than suppressing it.”  

Due to this policy change, some Chinese students in Dana community are also planning to adjust their spring break plans. According to China Briefing, mainland China has adopted the “0+3” policy. Inbound travelers are no longer required to quarantine in hotels or wait for Covid test results at the airport. People can quarantine in their homes for three days and observe their health conditions. 

“Not only were Chinese people protesting this time, but people from all around the world were trying to make their own contributions,” commented the first Chinese student. “It’s really important for the Dana community to acknowledge this matter and be aware of what is happening on the other side of the world.”

Photo source: CNN 

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