Meanwhile, Chinese stocks experienced the biggest plunge since 2008.
I have recorded that American states, as well as many European countries, continue to scrap COVID restrictions after concluding the coronavirus was now an endemic pathogen.
In fact, Iceland’s chief public health officer wanted “as many people as possible” to get infected and enjoy the benefits of natural immunity.
However, China has bitterly clung to the sense its response has been superior and continues to embrace “Covid Zero” policies. As predicted, such an approach is doomed to failure.
The nation’s leaders have now ordered 51 million Chinese into lockdown over the latest covid outbreaks.
Two years on, it’s now sending tens of millions of people into lockdown in the entire northeastern province of Jilin, where 24 million people live, and the southern cities of Shenzhen and Dongguan, with 17.5 million and 10 million, respectively.
China, the last major country to relentlessly pursue a Covid-zero policy, reported 1,437 cases across dozens of cities on Monday. That’s a fourfold jump in a week.
Although record case numbers are testing the resilience of China’s no-tolerance approach, there is no sign the country is willing to pivot to ‘living with the virus.”
China is also imposing travel restrictions and mass testing after the latest flare-up, driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, which has resulted in a spike of….asymptomatic cases.
Zhang Yan, a Jilin health commission official, conceded that the response from local authorities had been lacking.
“The emergency response mechanism in some areas is not robust enough,” he said at a press briefing on Sunday.
“There is insufficient understanding of the characteristics of the Omicron variant… and judgment has been inaccurate.”
Personally, I wish China all the success that it deserves in this endeavor.
Interestingly enough, in the wake of this development, there has been the biggest plunge in Chinese stocks since 2008.
Chinese stocks listed in Hong Kong had their worst day since the global financial crisis, as concerns over Beijing’s close relationship with Russia and renewed regulatory risks sparked panic selling.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index closed down 7.2% on Monday, the biggest drop since November 2008. The Hang Sang Tech Index tumbled 11% in its worst decline since the gauge was launched in July 2020, wiping out $2.1 trillion in value since a year-earlier peak.
The broad rout follows a report citing U.S. officials that Russia has asked China for military assistance for its war in Ukraine. Even as China denied the report, traders worry that Beijing’s potential overture toward Vladimir Putin could bring a global backlash against Chinese firms, even sanctions. Sentiment was also hurt by a Covid-induced lockdown in the southern city of Shenzhen, a key tech hub, and the northern province of Jilin.
Smart companies have taken the past 2 years to remove China from the supply chain. Those that have not are likely to feel the effects of continued covid lockdowns and other crises arising in that nation.DONATE
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