Did the Chinese authorities get intimidated by the protests? 

On the afternoon of December 7, the Communist Party of China officially issued 10 new measures related to the pandemic policy.  The new guidelines, if implemented accordingly, sound much more flexible than the zero-COVID approach that people have been suffering so far. 

-Positive asymptomatic and mild cases will be quarantined at home, and nucleic acid certificates and health codes will no longer be checked for cross-regional migrating personnel.

-Administrative regions will no longer conduct nucleic acid testing for each person. Testing will be carried out for employees in high-risk positions and personnel in high-risk areas.

-Except for special places, it will not be required to provide a negative test certificate, and the health code will not be checked.

The regulations also state that high-risk areas shall be determined according to buildings, units, floors, and residents and shall not be limited at will. Various forms of temporary lockdown and control shall not be adopted, and it is strictly prohibited to block fire-fighting passages, unit doors, and community doors in various ways.

The measures also require high-risk areas to be “quickly sealed and quickly unlocked.” The sealed units would be unlocked if there were no new positive cases in 5 consecutive days.

-Non-high-risk areas shall not restrict the movement and shall not be under lockdown, stop production, or shut down operations.

-Pharmacies shall not be shut down at will. Schools without positive cases shall implement offline teaching. At the same time, the COVID vaccination of the elderly will be accelerated.

After the announcement of the new 10 epidemic prevention measures, some mainland netizens sighed that the three-year epidemic is finally coming to an end. Some others questioned the movement, as protests ignited throughout the country. 

Tang Jingyuan, a news commentator in the US, told New Tang Ren China that he believes the easing of epidemic prevention and control is only a temporary appropriate measure of the CCP. Once the civil protests subside, the CCP will likely repeat the same mistakes.

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