- Zero Covid – and no end
- China disappoints at COP27
- Apec criticizes Russia
- EU sets punitive tariffs on steel
- FBI denounces Chinese ‘police stations’
- Heads: Hannes Farlock – new head of AHK in Hong Kong
- To the language about slumber services
Hopes were high. Despite rising numbers, the leadership in Beijing seemed willing to relax the strict Covid measures at least a little. But with the first death in six months – and in Beijing of all places – the opening is already over. Schools, stores, restaurants, and offices in the capital will have to close until further notice.
But perhaps it will be the exponentially rising and thus uncontainable numbers that will make the government rethink its zero-Covid strategy in the coming weeks, writes our Beijing-based team of authors concerning Hong Kong. There, the city government abandoned zero-Covid after the situation spiraled out of control earlier this year. Instead, people have been living with the virus ever since – and, above all, are vaccinating eagerly.
Geopolitics overshadowed the climate talks at COP27, which ended this weekend in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. But it was not Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine that hampered an agreement, but the dispute over whether China, as a superpower, can continue to opt-out of commitments to finance climate aid like a developing country, our Climate.Table colleagues report on the ground. For now, China has prevailed.
At the Asia-Pacific Economic Summit Apec in Bangkok, the outcome in favor of China was less clear. Although the Ukraine war was put on the agenda at the request of the USA, China and Russia would have preferred to ignore the issue. In the end, it was even enough for a condemnation of Russian aggression. But China still managed to get its way with its position in the matter. Read Frank Sieren’s analysis to find out how.
Have a great start to the week!
Beijing’s difficult shift away from zero-Covid
After the first fatal Covid case in months, Chinese authorities respond with tighter restrictions in the capital. In Beijing, many stores and restaurants remained closed over the weekend. Schools announced that classes would be canceled in the new week. The German Embassy School in Beijing must also close its doors until further notice.
According to the Health Commission on Sunday, the 87-year-old male patient from Beijing is the first pandemic victim since the big spring wave in Shanghai. As was the case then, current infection rates are again above 24,000 cases per day nationwide. If the increase continues unchecked, a large number of deaths would be unavoidable. The authorities still want to prevent this at all costs.
Last week, the leadership presented a list of 20 adjustments to the Covid measures that tend to soften the provisions. According to the new rules, for example, it is now forbidden to quarantine secondary contacts, i.e. people who had contact with direct contacts of infected persons. Only direct contacts and infected persons themselves must now be isolated. In addition, cities are allowed to classify people into risk and non-risk areas.