Life in the factory + Cardinal Zen arrested + The end of vaccine diplomacy
For the past couple of weeks, several companies in China have been operating in a so-called closed loop. This means that employees eat, sleep and live at their workplace – usually in or near factories. With European labor laws in mind, this seems unthinkable. But even in the People's Republic, a six-day week with twelve-hour shifts, as Tesla aims for in its closed-loop system, is not actually legal, writes Nico Beckert. But there are exceptions. He took a closer look at the supposed sideline of China's zero-covid policy and discovered a huge gray area.
The Chinese Covid strategy not only came under criticism from the World Health Organization this week - the positive external effects of China's vaccine diplomacy on the country's reputation are also visibly fading. Vaccine shipments from the People's Republic have almost come to a standstill in 2022, Stefan Schmalz, a political economy expert, and economist Philipp Koencke reported at the Table.Live briefing. One reason for the mood change was that Beijing charged a lot for its shipments, while the vaccines did not have the desired effect.
Explosive news reached the world from Hong Kong on Wednesday evening: Cardinal Joseph Zen has been arrested. The well-known critic of the Chinese government and its religious policies is charged with conspiring with foreign forces. Zen was a thorn in the side of both the Vatican and the Communist Party, as Marcel Grzanna summarizes. The arrest, however, does not mean any improvement in relations between the Holy See and Beijing.