- Relaxation instead of lockdown in Hong Kong
- Polluted soil jeopardizes food security
- Exports decline while imports from Russia rise
- No live-streaming for minors
- Criticism and congratulations for Hong Kong’s new Chief Executive
- Scholz and Xi hold video conference
- Taiwan attends Biden’s Covid summit
- Profile: entrepreneur and architect Niao Wu
The situation in Beijing remains serious and complicated, as paraphrased by the city government on Monday. 50 new cases – mainly in the Shunyi district – mean more mass testing for Beijing’s citizens. And restrictions are also being tightened again in Shanghai. Meanwhile, the situation in Hong Kong is quite different. Our team took a closer look at the Covid policy in the special administrative region – and the results could hardly be more different: Instead of lockdowns like on the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong’s new Chief Executive John Lee wants to swiftly reopen the borders. The paradoxical consequence of these two different policies: Entry from faraway Europe would become easier than from the nearby mainland.
Meanwhile, my colleague Ning Wang has looked into a side effect of the Shanghai lockdown and discovered a massive problem for the Chinese government: securing the food supply. While food and drink security in Shanghai mainly fails due to the authorities’ strict Covid measures, a massive food supply crisis could hit nationwide. The reason: China’s soils are contaminated with heavy metals, plastics or phosphorus. The reasons for this are mostly man-made. Ning Wang shows that China’s authorities have certainly recognized the problem – but their measures are of staggering simplicity.
Hong Kong rejects China’s zero-covid strategy
Escape from the dilemma: In his election speech on Sunday, Hong Kong’s future Chief Executive John Lee made it clear where he will set the priorities after he takes office on July 1. Lee and his new team want to try to liberate Hong Kong as quickly as possible from the Covid isolation that has been hurting the economy. The government under Carrie Lam also makes efforts to this end, but has not yet been able to report any success.
For more than two years, strict measures have been in place that turn any trip for Hong Kong’s citizens into an ordeal. Trips abroad result in long hotel isolation in Hong Kong upon return. Not even trips to neighboring Shenzhen in Mainland China are possible without quarantine. Numerous citizens were even locked out of their home country at times. Time and time again, flight and entry bans were imposed on short notice, making it impossible to return from countries hit particularly hard by Covid. For tourists and business travelers without Hong Kong citizenship, the city was even completely off-limits until a few days ago.
The situation not only takes a toll on the people, economic productivity also suffers massively. Companies and foreign chambers of commerce are putting pressure on the government by repeatedly urging for restrictions to finally be lifted.
- John Lee
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