BEIJING ( Associated Press) — The mayor of a northeastern Chinese city on the North Korean border that was locked down for more than 50 days has apologized for failures in his administration’s work in a widely-but often disguised–government’s heavy-handedness. Discontent over blatant approach to tackling the pandemic.
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 highly unusual for a Communist Party official to publicly admit errors, especially regarding the hardline “zero-COVID” policy that has been repeatedly criticized by top officials under President and party leader Xi Jinping. support has been given.
According to unofficial sources, Dandong had seen one of the strictest lockdowns in China, even banning the delivery of food and other necessities, despite reporting only a few cases.
In his purported remarks at a meeting with residents, Hao acknowledged the sacrifices made by the city’s 2.4 million citizens, as well as the “voice of grievance” among them over the work of the government. Dandong is now moving into a phase of epidemic control that will be “more proactive, more proactive and more effective”, Hao said.
Unable to root out the source of the new cases, Dandong officials increasingly took extreme measures, some of them of questionable scientific merit. This included advising residents to close their windows to prevent the spread of the virus from North Korea, even though its ability to spread through the air is extremely limited.
Authorities have also cracked down on smuggling across the Yalu River with North Korea, offering cash incentives for those involved. China has long recognized that the virus is spreading through packaging and other surfaces, despite little evidence showing this is a significant factor.
At one point officials transported residents of an entire apartment block to quarantine 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 a neighboring building, leading to an angry clash between residents and officials.
With Shanghai’s ongoing plight, lengthy lockdowns become the norm in China’s COVID-19 response get the most fame. 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 and hundreds of thousands remain under restrictions.
The severity of the Shanghai lockdown and the apparent lack of preparation by the authorities prompted a clash between residents and officials at the checkpoints, and a series of nightly sessions of banging and screaming from balconies. Criticisms of government policy were posted online, often in formats designed to thwart censorship software.
The easing of measures prompted exodus from the city and foreign business leaders say confidence in its future as an international trade hub is in question.
The response in the capital Beijing has been more subtle, possibly for political reasons, although many students have been forced to attend online classes and a major shopping and nightlife district has been closed. After the detection of 166 cases linked to a nightclub.
Testing is required daily or every other day in most districts and failure to participate can result in a person’s cell phone health status app being flagged, barring them from public places.