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Why are China's COVID-19 rules so strict?

At the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China set out its 'zero-COVID' measures that were harsh, but not out of line with what many other countries were doing to try and contain the virus. While most other nations saw the health and safety regulations as temporary until vaccines were widely available, however, China has stuck steadfastly to its strategy.

A man smokes while pushing a trolley loaded with groceries on a quiet street in Beijing, China, on Nov. 29, 2022. (Andy Wong / AP)