China Coronavirus Economy & Business Politics & Diplomacy


May 11, 2022

China’s faltering “zero COVID” policy: politics in command, economy in reverse

By Jeremy Mark and Michael Schuman

As COVID-19 reemerges in China, could the repercussions of Beijing’s zero COVID policy undermine the narrative of China’s superior pandemic response and the image and stature of Xi Jinping’s rule? This Global China Hub and GeoEconomics Center report by nonresident senior fellows Jeremy Mark and Michael Schuman explores the domestic political drivers, economic repercussions, and the political, diplomatic, and human costs of zero COVID and identifies why China will likely struggle to move on from the faltering policy.

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Image: A worker in a protective suit stands behind barriers sealing off a residential area under lockdown, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Shanghai, China March 29, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song