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Shuli Ren

China’s Choice: Covid Zero or Xi’s Three Red Lines

Two of China’s top priorities are in conflict, worsening an economic slowdown.

Disinfecting Zhengzhou against Covid.

Disinfecting Zhengzhou against Covid.

Photographer: VCG/Visual China Group

You can’t have your cake and eat it too. It’s an expression that warns people not to want things that are inherently incompatible. China would do well to heed this wisdom. 

In recent years, the government launched quite a few ambitious top policies that would fundamentally alter its economy. At the top of mind was its response to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the world is living with the virus, China still has no tolerance for outbreaks.