- Lockdown risk in Beijing
- Zero Covid costs municipalities dearly
- The daily struggle of Chinese students in Germany
- Forced labor: EU draft law expected in fall
- FCC fears law violations over journalism award
- Ifo warns of consequences for German economy
- Opinion: Our fear of China’s punishment
The situation in Beijing came to a dramatic head at the beginning of the week. The number of new Covid infections continued to climb on Monday, mass testing was carried out in the eastern district of Chaoyang, and the first residential buildings were quarantined. The result was panic buying and empty shelves in supermarkets. People fear a lockdown like the one in Shanghai. Read in our first feature why even Beijing’s authorities warn about “grim” times for China’s capital, and why current developments could also pose a threat to President Xi Jinping.
And while China’s President Xi Jinping maintains his zero-covid strategy, others have to foot the bill: for the countless Covid tests every day, for checks in residential areas, on street corners, district and city borders, or for the construction of entire isolation centers. Not to mention lost revenue and tax payments: Shanghai alone accounts for 3.8 percent of China’s GDP. Christiane Kuehl has taken a look at the total cost of China’s zero-covid policy and which industries suffer the most under Beijing’s tough regulations.
Chinese students are the largest group of foreign students in Germany. Despite Covid, the majority of new foreign students in the 2020/2021 winter semester came from China. However, what appears to be a privilege in retrospect often proves to be a huge challenge in everyday life. Whether linguistic, cultural or simply culinary – Frank Sieren shows the problems and cultural differences Chinese students have to overcome in Germany.
Finally, I would like to draw your attention to today’s opinion piece by Stefan Sack. The former Vice President of the European Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai reviews the idea of “change through trade” and comes to the conclusion: The approach has certainly paid off – just not in the way the West had hoped. It is the West that adapts to China’s way of doing things. Sack calls for a new approach.
Omicron wave rolls: Beijing fears ‘grim’ times
On Monday, people patiently lined up in meter-long queues in the Chaoyang district. Waist-high barriers ensure distance and order. At the end of the lines, inspection officers covered in protective clothing wait to mechanically take swabs from the throats of those waiting. Several million times, on Monday alone, in the Chaoyang district alone.
Chaoyang is Beijing’s largest district, and authorities had ordered mandatory PCR testing for district residents (China.Table reported). That is 3.5 million people. They all have to be tested every two days this week alone: on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In addition, individual apartment blocks and several neighborhoods in the district were sealed off early this week. Its residents are not allowed to leave the area until further notice. The first restaurants and entertainment venues were also closed.
And yet, the number of new Covid infections continues to rise. After a few dozen Covid infections over the weekend, authorities reported 29 new cases on Monday. This brings the number of recorded new Covid infections to at least 70. And the outbreaks have long since spread to other districts. According to official figures, 8 of Beijing’s 16 districts have already been affected. As a result, the city government announced late Monday evening that it would extend mass testing to ten more districts as well as one economic zone.