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Prominent commentator calls for transparency amid frustration over China’s ‘zero-Covid’ policy

Sutirtho Patranobis I Edited by Amit Chanda – Monday

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BEIJING: A prominent Chinese commentator has said China needs “very rational research” on Covid-19 and studies on the disease should be published and made “transparent” to the public as frustration over Beijing’s “zero-Covid” policy continues to simmer.

People line up to get a swab at a nucleic acid testing station, set up city-wide to trace possible Covid-19 outbreaks in Beijing, China. (REUTERS)© Provided by Hindustan Times

Hu Xijin, former editor of the state-run tabloid Global Times, made the call for more transparency on Covid-19-related research on Twitter-like microblog Weibo on Sunday.

“Facing the future, China needs very rational research and calculations,” said Hu, former editor-in-chief of Global Times.

“Experts should stand up and speak, and the state should organise relevant comprehensive studies and make them transparent to the public: What are the advantages and disadvantages for our people to open up or insist on not letting go, and what are the advantages and disadvantages for the country as a whole (for not opening up)?”

Hu added that the “intention of socialist China in making policy decisions must be for the benefit of the people” and while the people must believe in the state, “the state must also believe in the consciousness of the people”.

Published on Sunday, Hu’s post had garnered over 52,000 likes by Monday

“Oppose lying flat (or lifting all restrictions), but also against excessive epidemic prevention,” one Weibo user responded to Hu’s write-up.

“It is not to open up, but to respond more accurately and not to affect the economy too much,” said another user.

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