South Asia and Beyond

‘China’s Lockdowns Reflect Communist Party’s Core Concern, That Regime Security Is Paramount’

NEW DELHI: China’s most populous city and its commercial hub Shanghai is in the middle of a two-stage lockdown as of Monday. The city’s residents have been divided geographically with the Huangpo river in the middle to facilitate mass testing. Given that the spike in Covid cases is less than 5000, the government’s lockdown may seem excessive.

But Dr. Raj Verma, associate professor of international relations at Huaqiao University in Xiamen, argues that public order and regime survival are at the core of the Communist Party’s thinking. If the pandemic results in mass casualties, it threatens regime survival and therefore, everything must be done to ensure nothing gets out of hand.

The seeming overreaction also suggests less than 100% confidence in the Chinese vaccine. But this is something no government in China will ever admit, says Dr. Verma.

As for the chances of Indian medical students and Indian employees of China based enterprises returning soon, Verma believes that may not happen until perhaps next year. This is because China has not eased up on the Covid restrictions it places on its own citizens, so the question of lenience to foreign nationals does not arise. Tune in for more in this conversation with Dr. Raj Verma.

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