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On November 5 last week, the press conference on epidemic prevention held by the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council of China attracted the attention of the world‘s public opinion.
China and abroad are very concerned about whether the current “clearing” anti-epidemic policy will be adjusted. This is not only necessary for China’s domestic economic development and people’s livelihood, but also closely related to the supply chain of the world economy, which directly affects the world economy in the context of the epidemic. . However, judging from the press conference that day, China’s anti-epidemic policy shows no signs of adjustment, but just repeats the spirit of “to improve the level of scientific and precise prevention and control, and to ensure the normal production and living order of the masses”.
China will not adjust the basic policy of epidemic prevention for the time being
Judging from the content announced at the press conference on November 5, China’s current epidemic prevention policy centered on “zeroing out”, external defense imports, and internal defense rebound has no signs of adjustment, although it has once again emphasized “effectively guaranteeing the normal production and living order of the masses.” “, but lacks safeguards against this real issue.
At the press conference, when asked whether the adjustment of prevention and control measures in some parts of China means that the prevention and control policies will be adjusted in the near future, Chinese disease control officials clearly responded that China will adhere to the general policy of “dynamic clearing” and will not waver. Improve the level of scientific and precise prevention and control, and especially emphasize: China’s epidemic prevention and control strategy and a series of strategic measures are completely correct, and China’s anti-epidemic methods and means are “the most economical and effective.”
The above position is highly politicized, which means that China’s current epidemic prevention policy is no problem. In practice, this has logically denied the necessity of adjusting the epidemic prevention policy. In China’s political context, this means: China’s current epidemic prevention policy is only improvement, not adjustment, let alone revision, and improvement can only be done around “zeroing”, external defense imports, and internal defense rebound.
This makes even if the epidemic prevention policy is adjusted in the future, the firmness and strength of its policy will be very fragile and can be changed at any time.
At the same time, there is another phenomenon that is also very telling: on November 5, the international media responded to Zeng Guang, the former chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about China’s “dynamic clearing” policy will soon see substantial changes. The report was once unavailable online. Zeng Guang said that China will introduce many new policies in the next 5-6 months; but he did not specify the source. China is “accumulating” the conditions for opening up, citing the emergence of new vaccines and the progress China has made in antiviral drug research, he told a Citibank seminar on Nov. 4. Zeng Guang’s above remarks are inconsistent with the position of current CDC officials at the seminar on November 5, so they could not be found online for a while.
On the other hand, Mi Feng, a spokesman for China’s National Health and Medical Commission, said at a press conference on the afternoon of November 5: It is necessary to improve the level of scientific and precise prevention and control, effectively ensure the normal production and living order of the masses, and prevent simplification and one-size-fits-all. Resolutely rectify layer by layer overweight.
What specific and effective measures are there for the above-mentioned problems? Duo Jia, the second-level inspector of the First Division of the Supervision Department of the China CDC, said at the same press conference: Adhere to the problem orientation, pay close attention to the issues of concern to the masses, and resolutely urge local governments to violate the “nine prohibitions” and other epidemic prevention and control requirements. The rectification is in place to ensure that the relevant “layers of coding” problems are properly solved in a timely manner, and at the same time, if the local rectification is not timely or in place, it will be notified and exposed.
Obviously, the only solution to the problem is to notify the exposure.
Under China’s national conditions, officials who are responsible for the accident are not exempted from their leadership positions, and other methods are of limited use, including reporting exposure. Moreover, China’s fundamental policy for epidemic prevention is “dynamic clearing”, external defense imports, and internal defense rebounds. , it is difficult to say that an accident occurs in the implementation of the policy, and it is difficult to say that it is a mistake of principle, and it is easier for the officials involved to shirk responsibility.
In particular, for the local governments that perform their duties, the real motivation or pressure to perform their duties is to “zero out”, because this is “political correctness”. As for economic development, China’s local provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have only The six places really hand over net income to the central government, whether there is an epidemic or not, so the closure of the city has little to do with the economy.
The internal and external situation is not conducive to adjusting the epidemic prevention policy
As far as the actual situation in China is concerned, the timing of adjusting the epidemic prevention policy is actually not good, both at the epidemic prevention and political level.
First of all, the winter is about to enter, which belongs to the season of high incidence of new crowns and the season of high infection of influenza. At the same time, from a global perspective, the epidemic of the new crown is also strengthening, and the number of infections in many countries is rising. Although the current consequences of the new coronavirus on humans are not serious, no scientist can accurately grasp the next step in the mutation of the virus. Against this background, it is difficult for the Chinese government to make fundamental and major adjustments to the core epidemic prevention policies of “dynamic clearing”, external defense against imports and internal defense against rebound.
Secondly, the new leadership of the Chinese Communist Party has just been formed and come to power. For this leading group, stability still needs to prevail, especially in the context of the current economic downturn in China and the insecurity of the international environment. The first and urgent need of this new leadership group is to establish political achievements, and the new crown epidemic is an issue that needs to be crossed by feeling the stones. In this way, China’s epidemic prevention policy should be reasonable to speculate. With no political understanding, it is difficult to make up our minds to make major adjustments to the current epidemic prevention policy.
Unless this happens: China’s domestic economy has suffered a major setback, so that the epidemic prevention policies that directly constrain economic development must be lifted, such as static management and restrictions on the flow of people. If that prospect emerges, the Chinese government will likely make major adjustments to its epidemic prevention policy.
(Note: The author is a policy researcher. This article only represents the author’s personal views. Responsible editor email[email protected]）