What Next

China’s Revolt Against “Zero COVID”

Three years of intense lockdowns is proving to be too much—for the people and the party.


Episode Notes

For nearly three years, people in China have endured their government’s “Zero COVID” policies to prevent cases from overwhelming their hospital system. But after a fire in Urumqi broke out and videos spread of fire rescue having trouble reaching the building, people have taken to the streets in defiance of orders and even gone as far as demanding President Xi Jinping’s resignation.

Guest: Matthew Brazil, co-author of Chinese Communist Espionage: An Intelligence Primer and a fellow at the Jamestown Foundation.

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Podcast production by Elena Schwartz, Carmel Delshad, and Madeline Ducharme, with help from Anna Phillips, Tori Dominguez, and Jared Downing.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.