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China rolls out intrusive surveillance system for new outbreaks: Analysts fear U.S. could mimic

Residents scan a QR code to register at a COVID-19 testing site in the Chengxi district of Xining, Northwest China's Qinghai province on Nov 2.
FPI / November 17, 2021


As it struggles to contain new outbreaks of apparent Covid variants and deal with reportedly ineffective vaccines, China’s communist regime continues to roll out increasingly intrusive and chilling surveillance techniques.

Analysts in the United States are privately concerned the Biden government could duplicate China’s methods.

The state-run China Daily reported that new Covid-19 restrictions include a process that identifies “space-time contacts” in a bid to rapidly find people at risk of infection. In the southwestern city of Chengdu, some Chinese were notified by phone message as part of the new system that they had been close to someone infected with Covid-19.

Local health authorities define a “space-time contact” as someone who stayed in the same space as someone who was a Covid-19 patient, security correspondent Bill Gertz reported for the Washington Times.

A space-time contact is defined as someone who was detected through cellphone surveillance as having spent over 10 minutes with an infected person in an area 875 yards wide by 875 yards long.

Once identified as a space-time contact, the health code identifier on a person’s phone changes from green to yellow, meaning they are no longer free to move in public and must take Covid-19 tests and self-quarantine until negative test results are obtained.

The new contact tracing is also being used in Beijing, and Henan and Fujian provinces.

“The intrusive measures come despite evidence that there is limited transmission of the virus in the open air,” Gertz noted in a Nov. 10 analysis.

To date tens of thousands of Chinese have been designated as “suspicious contacts” by the government, the Epoch Times reported.

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