A firsthand view of China’s chaotic COVID re-opening, with Deborah Seligsohn


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This week on Sinica, we welcome back Deborah Seligsohn, assistant professor of political science at Villanova University. Debbi spent October 2022 through early January 2023 in Shanghai and Beijing, experiencing quarantine, testing, and lockdown at firsthand — and witnessing the protests and the sudden reopening. As a close observer of public health issues, she lends valuable perspective to what happened in these critical months.

8:13 – Overview of how zero-COVID impacted different demographics in China

17:54 – Which level of government was held accountable during the zero-COVID protests?

23:03 – Factors that contributed to the breakout of protests

29:05 – Rationale behind the sudden lifting of COVID regulations

38:17 – Assessing Beijing’s failure to effectively expand its medical capacity

45:45 – Efficacy of Chinese vaccines

49:45 – Understanding poor vaccination rate amongst the elderly population

55:45 – Breakdown of China’s COVID situation after the relaxation of zero-COVID measures

1:03:32 – Unpacking the new negative test requirements imposed on Chinese travelers

1:09:56 – Is China under-reporting its death rate?

A transcript of this podcast is available at TheChinaProject.com.


Debbi: two-part interview with Jesse Jenkins from the Volts Podcast, detailing the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS act, and the Infrastructure Bill

Kaiser: Demon Copperhead, the latest novel by Barbara Kingsolver. A coming of age story set in Southern Appalachia.