The issue with zero covid to me is twofold, how do you deal with cases when they arise without too disruption and how do you open to other countries that have endemic covid 19. No zero covid country seems to have solved these issues. In the case of China I get the impression the government there is not too bothered with such a policy causing massive disruption or opening up to rest of the world as their population have no say in how the country is run. Even pre Covid I get the impression the Chinese government was trying to disconnect from the rest of the world anyway.
Since Australia is a democracy, this is not the case in there, which makes me wonder how long their population will put up with being unable to see family abroad or having the ever present threat of snap lockdowns that could last months.
I completely agree, however by "demonstrating" a zero covid strategy they may lead other countries down the same self-destructive and ultimately futile path. The CCP must have noticed that the West basically copied what they did last year, and I'm sure they'd take great pleasure in seeing further damage caused to Australia's economy and democracy. There have been too many positive outcomes for China to simply ignore the possibility that they've not acted in good faith in my opinion. I'd stop short of suggesting they started the pandemic deliberately but once it began they may well have spotted "opportunities".