The CCP is ready to make some policy changes.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the Chinese government is preparing to end the push for “Zero-COVID” and will scrap most COVID testing and quarantining policies.
The changes come after weeks of nationwide protests —but the decision may be purely for economic reasons.
From The Wall Street Journal:
The speed of Beijing’s retreat from its pandemic regime suggests the country’s leaders are now more concerned about the damage those controls have caused to China’s economy than the risk of worsening Covid infections that surged to a record high in November. Trade data released before the Covid easing measures were announced on Wednesday showed Chinese exports fell at the steepest pace in more than two years in November, adding to weakening factory activity and a sluggish recovery in the property sector.
Markets seemed to greet China’s policy shift with apprehension. Shares in Hong Kong and mainland China fell Wednesday, suggesting that investors still see a messy path toward reopening, including the potential risks of soaring infections.
Chinese stocks have seesawed as Beijing has sent mixed signals on the pace of opening, and economists have been divided on the impact on spending and other economic activity.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping and other senior officials have repeatedly emphasized the need to maintain the zero-Covid policy and criticized the West’s approach of living with the virus as showing a disregard for lives. But the official tune began to change last month, after signs of economic and supply-chain disruptions again emerged and protests erupted in dozens of major cities. Covid-related disruptions at the world’s biggest iPhone assembly plant led Apple Inc. to question whether it can still rely on China as its biggest manufacturing base.
China took another step away from its stringent Covid-19 controls https://t.co/vSgbAkLU49
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) December 7, 2022