China doubles down on 'zero tolerance' COVID policy

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Most access to a major city adjacent to Beijing was suspended Thursday as the government tried to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus's easily transmitted omicron variant ahead of next month's Winter Olympics in the Chinese capital.

Tianjin, a port and manufacturing center with 14 million people, is one of a half-dozen cities where the government is imposing lockdowns and other restrictions in response to outbreaks.

With the success of the Games and China’s national dignity at stake, Beijing is doubling down on a “zero-tolerance" policy that has more than 20 million people under lockdown in Xi'an in the west and other cities. Some are barred from leaving their homes.