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China removes reference to ‘zero-Covid’ policy for next five years

The notice was first posted by Beijing Daily and republished by other state media outlets.

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Beijing: Chinese censors deleted a misleading quote by a senior Communist Party official, which claimed the “zero-Covid” policy would remain in place in Beijing “for the next five years”.

The notice, published on Monday afternoon, was attributed to Cai Qi, the Beijing secretary of the Chinese Communist party. The original text said: “In the next five years, Beijing will unremittingly grasp the normalisation of epidemic prevention and control,” reports The Guardian.

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The notice was first posted by Beijing Daily and republished by other state media outlets. It spread widely across social media, but soon the reference to “five years” was removed from most online publications, and a related hashtag on Weibo was deleted.

It committed to maintain and improve the city’s “strict management of the joint prevention and control coordination mechanism”, and the emergency response system, including those designed to shut down circulation and transfer of the virus through “isolation, management and control… as soon as [transmissions] appear”, the report said.

The announcement and the subsequent amendment sparked anger and confusion among Beijing residents online.

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