China Under Xi Jinping's COVID Zero Policy Similar To Kim Jong Un's North Korea, Says Expert: 'Felt More Like Pyongyang'


A US-based analyst compared Chinese President Xi Jinping’s regime to that of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after his month-long recent trip to Shanghai and Beijing.

What Happened: Visiting Beijing “felt more like Pyongyang” this time, Scott Kennedy, a senior adviser for Chinese Business and Economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Bloomberg in an interview. 

Comparing his visit from three years ago, Kennedy added that the earlier city was more of an international one. Kennedy met government officials, business executives, journalists, and academics in China.

See Also: North Korea Ramps Up Security To Protect Kim Jong Un Amid Rising Tensions With US And Allies

“I say, only half-jokingly, that in 2019, I left a Beijing that was on its way toward being like London — and when I returned in September, it felt more like Pyongyang,” he said.

Why It’s Important: This comes after Beijing’s extreme border controls amid Xi’s zero-COVID policy for the past three years have made it harder for foreigners to get into the country.

Since the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, North Korea closed its borders to all foreign tourists and cut off ties with the rest of the world to prevent the virus from spreading.

Late last month, North Korea resumed cross-border freight train operations with China, which is also Pyongyang’s key trading partner. 

North Korea has also turned a former airport near the China border into a massive quarantine center, where commercial satellite imagery has shown imported goods sitting for months.

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