- After Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed China’s strategy of “dynamic zero-COVID”, IORG found that Chinese state media recently started to praise China’s strategy and criticized the West’s so-called “lie-flat and co-exist” strategy through the dissemination of mainly 5 narratives.
- These 5 official narratives praise the Chinese COVID strategy as being more humane, more scientific, while criticizing the Western strategy as being passive and a demonstration of failure against the COVID pandemic, “a choice of no better options”. One of them also claims that Western media’s call for China to adopt the same Western strategy is ill-intended. One narrative concludes that the Chinese model is superior to the Western one.
- IORG observed the trend of China’s daily confirmed cases and the daily number of Chinese state media reports regarding “dynamic zero-COVID” and found three peaks. These 3 peaks happen to coincide with major incidents regarding Shanghai’s COVID situation, including the day when a lockdown was announced and the number of confirmed cases reached a record-high. This might indicate that compared with other cities like Shenzhen, Chinese authorities care more about Shanghai regarding the COVID situation.
- In the face of the most severe domestic outbreak since the end of 2019, the CCP’s decision to pursue the “dynamic zero-COVID” strategy instead of “coexisting with virus” shows that the survival of the regime is still its top priority. The CCP might think the “dynamic zero-COVID” strategy offers more advantages and its associated risk is easier to control. On the contrary, pursuing “coexisting with virus” will cause many deaths and social unrest, posing a greater threat to the regime.
- In terms of its propaganda strategy, the CCP stigmatized “coexisting” by combining the term with China’s existing “lie-flat culture”. It also pitches the different COVID strategies employed by China and the West as a “battle of civilization”, justifying its draconian COVID policies. Yet this extreme measure might limit its space of maneuver in the future.
- IORG expects the CCP to propagate “the successful development” of its national medicine against COVID in the near future, claiming that the Chinese government “is able to protect its people from foreign virus” and disseminating the narrative that “the Chinese model of fighting against the COVID is successful” in Taiwan. It will denounce the Taiwanese government for “not caring about people’s lives” and call on Taiwan to import Chinese COVID medicine. Stay alert.
Narratives of Chinese authorities or state media
Number of related Chinese state media reports
Key state media nodes
1. China’s “dynamic zero-COVID” is more humane than the West’s “lie-flat and coexist”
“dynamic zero-COVID” and “pandemic” and ( “humane” or “Darwin” or “jungle justice” or “responsibility” or “responsible” or “humanity” )
2. China’s “dynamic zero-COVID” is more scientific than the West’s “lie-flat and coexist”
“dynamic zero-COVID” and “science” and ( “lie-flat” or “coexist” )
3. the West’s “lie-flat and coexist” is passive, a failure and a choice of no better options
“passive” and ( “the West” or “lie-flat” or “coexist” )
4. The West’s call for China to adopt “coexisting with virus” strategy is ill-intended
( “the West” or “the US” ) and ( “lie-flat” or “coexist” ) and ( “ill-intended” or “political purpose”)
5. The “dynamic zero-COVID” strategy highlights the superiority of the Chinese governing model.
“dynamic zero-COVID” and ( “the West” or “Europe and the US” or “capital” ) and “China” and “superior”
Full version of this Dokidoki Alert is available in Taiwanese Mandarin. Please visit https://iorg.tw/da/23 for more.