Sébastien Le Belzic (in Beijing), edited by Juliette Moreau Alvarez
09:02, November 25, 2022
The Chinese are stung: they who have been subjected to their leader’s zero-covid policy since the start of the crisis have realized, thanks to the images of the World Cup in Qatar, that the rest of the world has put the masks away. While the fans celebrate, the Chinese population wonders and the anger rises.
A crushing blow for the Chinese population. She, who has suffered since the start of the health crisis from her government’s zero-Covid policy, realizes, in front of the 2022 World Cup matches, that the rest of the world has resumed an almost normal life. No masks in the stands, few barrier gestures or other health restrictions… anger is brewing in the Middle Kingdom. Images of Qatar stick in the throats of many Chinese. While they experience the repeated confinements imposed by their leaders, the other countries seem to have put the Covid behind them.
“They force us to stay at home”
In Beijing, more than a quarter of the population is confined. It is at home that most Chinese must follow the World Cup: bars are closed, football evenings with friends are prohibited. The atmosphere is not really festive. So when this young woman discovers full stadiums and spectators without masks on television, it’s a cold shower. “I realized that, all of a sudden, everyone lives there, without a mask. Everyone does what they want. A stadium is several tens of thousands of people without a mask. But why here in China, is the situation so different?
Some are even furious behind their screen. “Why are the Chinese people so different from the rest of the world?” asked a young football fan. “Because our health is more fragile, because the Omicron variant is stronger there? There is no reason! They are forcing us to stay at home.” Finally, the only ones to rub their hands are the television channels, including CCTV 5 which broadcasts all the matches of the World Cup. Because if the Chinese do not participate in this competition, they follow it diligently, since the audience for the event is estimated at 700 million viewers.