Over last weekend, members of China’s Generation Z stopped lying flat and joined the protests targeting Covid-19 lockdowns. It’s an abrupt shift for a cohort that, only a few months ago, was widely viewed as giving up and doing the bare minimum to get by as China’s economy strained under the pandemic.
But discontent was festering even before Covid-19, and now it is breaking out as public protest on some of China’s most elite university campuses. Addressing that anger will require the government to do more than end lockdowns and incessant testing. It requires a commitment to repair the economic damage done to a young, educated generation that had higher hopes for itself.