Four years ago, many young Chinese liked to use the hashtag #Amazing China.
Two years ago, they said that China was the “A” student in pandemic control and urged the rest of the world, especially the United States, to “copy China’s homework.”
Now many believe that they’re the most unlucky generation since the 1980s as Beijing’s persistent pursuit of the zero-Covid policy is wreaking havoc. Jobs are hard to find. Frequent Covid testing dictates their lives. The government is imposing more and more restrictions on their individual liberty while pushing them to get married and have more children.
“I can’t stand the thought that I will have to die in this place,” said Cheng Xinyu, a 19-year-old writer in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu, who is thinking of migrating to foreign countries before the government’s iron fist falls on her.
She can’t imagine having children in China either.
“I like children but I don’t dare to have them here because I won’t be able to protect them,” she said, citing concerns like pandemic control workers breaking into apartments to spray disinfectant, killing pets and requiring residents to leave the keys in their apartment door locks.