China’s Political Discourse December 2022: A Slap in the Face on Covid Policy
By China Media Project
This monthly report is prepared for Sinocism by the excellent China Media Project.
China’s Political Discourse: December 2022
A Slap in the Face on Covid Policy
In China, the term “slap in the face,” or dalian (打脸), refers to a demonstrable error that results in extreme embarrassment and leaves a shameful mark of redness on one’s face. The term aptly describes the humiliating situation in which the Chinese leadership found itself in December 2022, as its sudden and ill-conceived about-face on Covid drove a wave of infections across the country that overwhelmed hospitals and pharmacies, resulted in untold deaths — and demanded ever more acrobatic feats of rationalization in official propaganda.
The Chinese Communist Party’s rationalization of its dramatic 180-degree turn on Covid was evident in the so-called “Notice on the Further Optimization of Measures for the Prevention and Control of Covid-19,” published by the State Council on December 7. The word “optimization,” or youhua (优化), sug…