China BANS term 'lockdown', refers to 'management-style suppression'

China BANS the word ‘lockdown’ and orders Communist media to call Zero Covid restrictions that confined 25million people to their homes ‘static management-style suppression’

  • Leaked order insists: ‘Measures were temporary, conditional and limited’
  • Largest city Shanghai has finally reopened after two months of draconian limits
  • Severe restrictions caused a sharp financial slowdown and flashes of civil unrest
  • Easing applies to low-risk areas where 22.5million of city’s 25million people live
  • Chinese media outlets have been banned from referring to Shanghai’s months-long Covid limits as a ‘lockdown‘.

    Restrictions in China‘s largest city were finally eased on Monday after two months of draconian blocks on day-to-day life.

    Yet a leaked memo issued by local authorities insists that journalists refer to the restrictions as ‘static management-style suppression and suspensions’.

    Shanghai residents relax at a riverside park yesterday as the city's strict lockdown was eased

    Shanghai residents relax at a riverside park yesterday as the city’s strict lockdown was eased

    Shoppers run errands in the freshly reopened city this morning, where limits have been eased

    Shoppers run errands in the freshly reopened city this morning, where limits have been eased

    It states: ‘Do not use the phrase “ending the lockdown.” Unlike Wuhan, Shanghai never declared a lockdown, so there is no “ending the lockdown.”

    ‘All parts of Shanghai underwent static management-style suppression and suspensions, but the city’s core functions kept operating throughout this period.’

    The order, released to US-based blog China Digital Times, continued: ‘Emphasize that related measures were temporary, conditional, and limited.’

    The underground in China's largest city was crowded once again with commuters this week

    The underground in China’s largest city was crowded once again with commuters this week

    Shanghai officials announced a gradual reopening of the city on Sunday evening. 

    Shanghai’s Communist Party chief and Xi Jinping ally Li Qiang said the city had ‘passed the test under extreme conditions and completed the arduous task’.

    Libraries, museums, theatres and gyms have reopened, though with strict limits on numbers, in districts that have seen no community Covid cases for seven consecutive days.

    Busy roads signal the return to normalcy in the formerly shuttered city (image from yesterday)

    Busy roads signal the return to normalcy in the formerly shuttered city (image from yesterday)

    Shops can also reopen at three-quarters capacity. Restaurant dining has also returned.

    The easing applies in low-risk areas where 22.5million of the city’s 25million population resides.

    China’s controversial pursuit of a Zero Covid strategy has been associated with human rights abuses and a mass economic slowdown.

    Shoppers stand by a supermarket in Jing'An District earlier today after two months indoors

    Shoppers stand by a supermarket in Jing’An District earlier today after two months indoors

    Flashpoints of rare civil unrest have included street protests, the breaking of road barriers and scuffles with hazmat-wearing Covid protection guards.

    While the easing will allow many factories and businesses to resume operations, there are concerns that the recovery will not be immediate.

    ‘I definitely have some worries, things are beyond your control… You can’t tell with a pandemic,’ said cafe owner Chen Ribin.

    The move came amid a steady rollback in compulsory measures that have upended daily life for millions while severely disrupting the economy and global supply chains.








    Negative Covid PCR tests taken within the previous 48 hours remain standard in Shanghai, Beijing and elsewhere for permission to enter public venues.

    ‘With the lockdown lifting, I feel very happy. I feel today how I feel during Chinese New Year – that kind of mood and joy,’ said Wang Xiaowei, 34, who moved to Shanghai from the inland province of Guizhou just a week before the lockdown began.

    Liu Ruilin, 18, said she wasn’t sure her building’s security guard would let her and others out on Tuesday night. The restriction ended exactly at midnight, she said.

    ‘Then we said, ‘Let’s go to the Bund to have fun,” she said in the city’s historic riverside district. ‘We thought there wouldn’t be too many people here, but we were surprised after coming over that a lot of people are here. I feel pretty good – quite excited.’

    Health authorities on Wednesday reported just 15 new Covid-19 cases in Shanghai, down from a record high of around 20,000 daily cases in April.








    The lockdown has prompted an exodus of Chinese and foreign residents, with crowds forming outside the city’s Hongqiao Railway Station, where only some train services have resumed.

    Restrictions on social contact and public transport use in Beijing are also being lifted gradually as cases fall. 

    Pro-democracy blog China Digital Times is run by the University of California.

    It was set up by professors in 2003 and is supported by the American National Endowment for Democracy. 

    Since 2006 it has been banned in China.