China Lockdown: The mayor of a northeastern Chinese city on the North Korean border (which has been closed for more than 50 days) has widely apologized for the failures in his administration’s work.
Dandong Mayor Hao Jianjun gave no details, but said government work and basic services were “unsatisfactory”, for which he offered his apology, according to a statement released by the city government late Monday.
It is unusual for the mayor to apologize
It is highly unusual for a Communist Party official to publicly acknowledge shortcomings, especially when the hardline “zero-Covid” policy has been repeatedly endorsed by top officials under President and party leader Xi Jinping. Despite only a handful of cases, Dandong has seen one of the strictest lockdowns in China.
In a meeting with residents Apni Hao acknowledged the sacrifices made by the city’s 2.4 million citizens, as well as “voices of complaint” over the work of the government.
officials try strict measures
Unable to root out the source of the new cases, Dandong officials took increasingly strict measures. Some of these were of questionable scientific merit, including advising residents to close their windows to prevent the virus from spreading from North Korea, even though its ability to spread through the air is very limited.
On one occasion, officials quarantined residents of an entire apartment block in the city of Shenyang, about 250 kilometers (150 miles) north of Dandong. Upon his release, it was revealed that the positive case was in a resident of the neighboring building, leading to a confrontation between the residents and the authorities.
Residents have been allowed to shop, but nothing has been said yet when normal work will resume. Lee, who owns a wood processing factory in Dandong, said the rules still demand that any building where a positive case is found to be sealed, according to the AP. “We understand that the epidemic situation in the city is still unstable. We do not know when exactly we will be allowed to resume production,” he said.
China adopted a policy of long lockdown
Response to COVID-19 China has adopted protracted lockdowns, with the ongoing plight of Shanghai gaining the most notoriety. Most of the 25 million residents of China’s largest city and major financial center were confined to their homes or neighborhoods for two months or more, with hundreds of thousands now under restrictions.
The seriousness of the Shanghai lockdown and the apparent lack of preparedness by the authorities led to clashes between residents and officials at the checkpoints. Criticisms of government policy were posted online, often in formats designed to thwart censorship software.