No one would have thought that the credibility of the Chinese government would become an issue requiring attention in the third year of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Because China's epidemic prevention and control was considered a success before the outbreak in Shanghai in April and a two-month silent containment period, the Chinese people's trust in the government has reached a new high.
However, with the Shanghai epidemic as a turning point, more and more people are beginning to worry that under the general requirement of dynamic clearing, China is falling into the Tacitus trap, and the public opinion field between the official and the public is particularly divided.
Top 20 Task List | Starting from "closed country" and seeking stability
On January 18 this year, Edelman, the world's largest independent public relations firm, released the 2022 "Edelman Trust Barometer" report. Respondents were asked to provide information on four aspects of their governments, businesses, media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). of trustworthiness.
The survey results show that under the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the public's trust in the governments of Western democracies has dropped to a new low, while the Chinese people's trust in their own governments has reached a new high in ten years.
Edelman spoke highly of China's measures in domestic and global anti-epidemic, economic recovery, environmental protection and anti-corruption measures.
Edelman CEO Deborah Lehr noted that China was the only major economy to grow in 2020, and it will maintain that momentum for most of 2021.
Although China's epidemic prevention policy is strict, it has successfully controlled the epidemic and built confidence for the people.
With the evolution of the epidemic situation, especially when other countries in the world have opened their doors and chose to "coexist with the virus", China is facing increasing tests and challenges in maintaining "dynamic zero".
In addition, Shanghai's economy has suffered severe setbacks since the epidemic. "Big development is a small problem, small development is a big problem, and no development is a problem." Whether it is grass-roots epidemic prevention or the public level, all are exhausted, and contradictions and problems have begun to spew out. .
Under such an "abnormal state", the rapid changes in policies have especially had a huge impact on the government's credibility.
There are three typical examples:
Under such an "abnormal state" as the COVID-19 epidemic, changes in policies have had a huge impact on the government's credibility in particular.
(AP Photo/Chen Si)
One is the change in Shanghai's epidemic prevention model.
Looking back today, many people can’t help but make some assumptions: If Shanghai did not take measures to close the city in March this year, but continued the previous precise epidemic prevention model, would it have explored a “third way” for China ?
Because before March 27, Shanghai has always stated that it will not take measures to close the city, emphasizing that it will not be one-size-fits-all, and will accurately prevent the epidemic. When the city stops, there will be many more international freighters floating in the East China Sea, which will affect the economy of the entire country and the global economy.”
However, as the epidemic situation became more severe, Shanghai quickly changed its epidemic prevention mode and entered a two-month lockdown, which had a huge impact on China's overall economic situation and the general public's psychology.
The official promise of "no city closures", which has always been stated before, has been reduced to helpless ridicule and sighs in the streets and alleys.
The second is the "vaccine order" that Beijing urgently launched and quickly withdrawn.
On July 6, at the 379th press conference on the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus pneumonia in Beijing, Li Ang, spokesman and deputy director of the Municipal Health Commission, announced that Beijing would implement a series of epidemic prevention and control measures, mainly including: "1. It is the elderly who enter and leave the university for the elderly, the activity station (room) for the elderly and the fitness and entertainment venues for the elderly to be connected as soon as possible. The second is to enter offline training institutions, libraries, museums, cinemas, art galleries, cultural centers, and sports venues. , fitness venues, performance entertainment venues, Internet cafes and other crowd gathering places must be vaccinated (except for those who are not suitable for vaccination), and other current-restricted and appointment places will give priority to vaccinated people. The above measures will be implemented on July 11, 2022 ( It will be officially implemented from Monday).” This measure was interpreted as a “vaccine order” by public opinion, which means that from July 11, Beijing residents will not be able to enter gathering places if they have not been vaccinated.
As soon as this order came out, it caused huge controversy, doubts and criticism. In the face of turbulent public opinion, the Beijing Municipal Prevention and Control Office responded late at night on July 7, "Thank you very much for your understanding and support for the epidemic prevention and control work in the capital." "New crown virus vaccination adheres to the principle of informed, consent and voluntary", "Citizens can enter various public places in the city normally after strict temperature measurement and code scanning and inspection of negative nucleic acid test certificates within 72 hours."
This means that the "vaccine order" was revoked a day after it was announced.
Under the pressure of the pandemic, the promotion of vaccination in various countries has become a necessary prerequisite for opening up.
(File photo/Photo by Liang Pengwei)
The third is the inconsistency of epidemic prevention policies.
On September 8, the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council held a press conference, announcing that five items of measures to strengthen epidemic prevention and control will be implemented from the Mid-Autumn Festival to October 31. According to the requirements of the control plan, normalized nucleic acid testing shall be carried out.
The same is the joint prevention and control mechanism of the State Council, but at a press conference on June 9, it stated that there is no epidemic situation and no import risk in areas, "checking nucleic acid should not become a norm." The implication is that no epidemic has occurred. In places, there is no need to normalize nucleic acid testing.
Such inconsistencies will undoubtedly greatly weaken the public's trust in the government and dampen the government's credibility.
In addition to the above three typical examples, since the outbreak of the epidemic, there have been incidents that have impacted people's psychological defense line, and gradually eroded the credibility that the government has finally built up. The chaos of local governance exposed by the eight-child mother incident in Xuzhou, the umbrella of underworld forces accidentally exposed by the Tangshan beating incident, etc., all have a specific impact on the government's recognition and credibility.
When it comes to government credibility, people tend to think of the once-popular "Tacitus trap".
As early as 2014, Xi Jinping issued a warning at the enlarged meeting of the Standing Committee of the Lankao County Party Committee in Henan Province, “The ancient Roman historian Tacitus put forward a theory that when public power loses its credibility, no matter what words are made, no matter what you do. , the society will give a negative evaluation. This is the "Tacitus trap". Of course we have not reached this stage, but the existing problems are not serious, and we must make great efforts to solve them. If that day comes, we will It will endanger the party's ruling foundation and ruling status."
Today, in the third year of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the "Tacitus trap" is no longer an alarmist, but a real challenge that the CCP will face in the next five years.
How to continuously increase the mutual trust between officials and the people and enhance the government's credibility not only determines whether the CCP can overcome the "Tacitus trap", but also determines the future destiny of the CCP and China.
Prospects of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China | One Core, Two Revolutions, and Three Key Words how to change