Financial TimesFinancial Times

‘We’ve totally confused residents’: China’s Covid policy flip-flop stokes frustration

By Ryan McMorrow and Nian Liu

23 Nov 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

The city of Shijiazhuang shut down, opened up, and shut down again in nine days. It’s happening across China, showing just how difficult it will be for China to loosen restrictions. FT has the story.

Days after the northern Chinese city of Shijiazhuang reopened, barista Lu Mengyuan donned her apron, applied her eye glitter and was again whipping up coffee and hot Chinese crepes for the trickle of residents venturing slowly from their homes.

Like many others, Lu believed the city’s abrupt reopening in the middle of a Covid-19 wave and its vow to do away with mass testing marked a turning point. “We’re the first in China, an experiment,” she said last Wednesday. “We will not lock back up.”

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