Zero Covid becomes a problem + Methane as an energy source
Even before the pandemic, handheld loudspeakers were popular in China for giving non-stop messages to the masses. Since the start of the Shanghai lockdown, however, a considerable amount of (real and fake) video clips featuring rather eerie loudspeaker announcements have emerged on the Internet: Creepy-looking robot "dogs" with stapled-on megaphones stalk abandoned city streets. Or drones, also equipped with megaphones, broadcast the following message from the night sky to people on balconies and at windows: "Please comply with Covid restrictions. Control your soul’s desire for freedom."
The strict zero-covid policy of the Beijing government eats away at the nerves of the city's residents – and also starts to become a problem for supply chains and production. Factories in Jiangsu, located on the border to Shanghai, also begin to feel the pain of the lockdown, reports Christiane Kuehl. Trans-regional transport is difficult and frustration among foreign companies grows. Besides disrupted operations, travel restrictions have been the worst measure, representatives of the EU Chamber and the German Chamber of Commerce told our author. After all, these mean: no factory visits, no business meetings and no trips home.
Apart from the Covid pandemic, climate change remains a pressing issue: China emits more methane than any other major economy. The gas emitted, for example, from coal mining and the cultivation of rice, has the same dramatic impact on climate change as CO2. Beijing has already rejected an international initiative to curb methane emissions. It prefers to pursue its own plans. Improved methane management would be a good start, analyzes Ning Wang. This way, China could even use this gas as an additional source of energy.