To Tame Coronavirus, Mao-Style Social Control Blankets China

To Tame Coronavirus, Mao-Style Social Control Blankets China. By Raymond Zhong.

China has flooded cities and villages with battalions of neighborhood busybodies, uniformed volunteers and Communist Party representatives to carry out one of the biggest social control campaigns in history.

The goal: to keep hundreds of millions of people away from everyone but their closest kin. …

Residential lockdowns of varying strictness — from checkpoints at building entrances to hard limits on going outdoors — now cover at least 760 million people in China, or more than half the country’s population, according to a New York Times analysis of government announcements in provinces and major cities. Many of these people live far from the city of Wuhan, where the virus was first reported and which the government sealed off last month. …

China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, has called for an all-out “people’s war” to tame the outbreak. But the restrictions have prevented workers from returning to factories and businesses, straining China’s giant economy. And with local officials exercising such direct authority over people’s movements, it is no surprise that some have taken enforcement to extremes.