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六、Non-transparent pandemic information threaten health and safety; strict lockdown measures infringe upon personal freedom

  • Date:2022-09-28

The CCP authorities prioritize “stability maintenance” to consolidate power, hence actively blocking any information that can affect the stability of public opinion. However, the CCP’s lack of information transparency has created a considerable breach in epidemic prevention and health care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCP locked down areas with confirmed cases, screened all inbound passengers, and adopted specific screening methods that could cause damages and burdens in personal health, safety, freedom, finance and time.

Since the year of 2022, countries around the world have started to experiment alternative policies to achieve “co-existence with the virus.” These policies focus on boosting vaccination rates as a means to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and welcome the relaxation of social distancing restrictions. Against this backdrop, however, the CCP still prioritizes maintaining political stability, hence its relentless implementation of the “zero-COVID” policy. Such a policy involves large-scale testing, transportation restrictions, surveillance, contact tracing, and lockdown mandates for housing complexes; these measures have remained part of mainland Chinese citizens’ daily routines but will no doubt be difficult for Taiwan citizens to accept or adapt to.

Example 1: It is widely believed that the rapid spread of COVID-19 was the result of local officials’ intentionally concealing information for fear of upsetting the central government. The source of information within mainland China is mostly the state-run media outlets, which is another reason why response to the pandemic was delayed.

Example 2: Mainland China remains firm in its implementation of the "dynamic zero-COVID” policy, leading to strict restrictions nationwide. A striking example is that a Taiwanese student on an exchange program to Shanghai underwent a total of 92 PCR and rapid screening tests within four months of time. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in Shanghai, schools limited students’ personal freedom by prohibiting them from stepping out of the dormitory, banning all delivery services, and only allowing them to "walk for health" in designated areas at designated times.