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China defends covid policy after U.S. flak

by The Associated Press | June 18, 2022 at 4:08 a.m.
Residents line up at a COVID sample collection station, Friday, June 17, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

BEIJING -- China on Friday defended its tough "zero-covid" policy after the U.S. ambassador said it was causing serious damage to the global economy and foreign business sentiment.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the Chinese economy is recovering from the effects of the pandemic and "facts prove" the policy mandating lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing is "suitable for China's national conditions and has stood the test of history."

"We have full confidence that [we can] contain the epidemic, steady the economy and achieve the goal of safe economic development," Wang said at a daily briefing.

China has sought to completely eliminate outbreaks of covid-19 with tough restrictions, while most other countries are relaxing their anti-coronavirus measures to "live with" the disease.

Ambassador Nicholas Burns said Thursday the "zero-covid" policy has "had a major impact" on business sentiment, singling out as especially damaging a two-month lockdown in Shanghai.

Most of Shanghai's 25 million people were confined to their homes or immediate neighborhoods, and hundreds of thousands continue to remain under restrictions. Rolling lockdowns have also continued to Beijing and other cities.

Critics say the policy is disrupting global supply chains and hurting employment and consumption in China. The U.N.'s World Health Organization has called it unsustainable. China denounced the remarks as irresponsible.

  photo  A security guard wearing a face mask looks out from the window of a public bus in Beijing, Friday, June 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
 
 
  photo  A street vendor selling fruit wears a mask as he waits for customers, Friday, June 17, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
 
 
  photo  Commuters wearing face masks walk out from the entrance of a subway station in the central business district in Beijing, Friday, June 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
 
 
  photo  Commuters wearing face masks ride across an intersection in the central business district in Beijing, Friday, June 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
 
 

Print Headline: China defends covid policy after U.S. flak

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