The Foshan city government released a notice via its official media today that provides insight into how difficult it is for local governments to conduct the “battle on two fronts” against the coronavirus that has been called for by the central government. Foshan’s dilemma is evident: How to prevent the virus from spreading among a panic-stricken population, while at the same time getting productivity going again?
The first five paragraphs are devoted to official jargon, taking great care to show that all cadres in Foshan would not dare do anything but follow the path laid down by President Xi Jinping. Then the sixth paragraph comes up with this gem (machine translated with a gentle edit):
On the other hand, it is necessary to strengthen dialectical thinking, while fully understanding the extreme importance of coordinating the work of epidemic prevention and control as well as maintaining the stability of the overall economic and social situation … use the strictest measures to win the epidemic prevention and control battle, while maximizing confidence in economic development and stimulating market forces. [We must] ensure complete victory in epidemic prevention and control, and complete victory in economic and social development goals throughout the year.
Having said that, the document goes on to list six concrete measures for cadres to follow, all of which would require heroic efforts. None suggests that current lockdown procedures can be allowed to ease up. Rather, cadres are expected to both strictly control movement of people, AND get companies back into full production mode.
Read the full text here (in Chinese).