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China has avoided the grim US Covid toll. But at what cost? | Rana Mitter

Shanghai was once a symbol of modernity and openness. Xi’s ruthless strategy risks a very bleak future

In Pyongyang, Covid is spreading fast, and one capital where the North Korean disaster is surely being watched with rapt attention is Beijing. North Korea, like China, has made a virtue of its authoritarian system being better suited to Covid control than the democracies.

Unlike North Korea, China has been rolling out vaccines for more than a year, but like its neighbour, it has millions of older people who have never taken the jab. China’s leaders can see in their neighbours a Covid situation that they fear could be their fate if the virus takes hold and they have responded with a lockdown in the mega-city of Shanghai that has lasted seven weeks and shows no immediate signs of ending.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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