Beijing’s position on COVID swings from one extreme to the other.
Last: Some cities are now allowing people to return to work even if they have mild cases – a stark contrast to the restrictive (and sometimes deadly) measures that have been in place for the past three years.
- The reversal suggests officials are now more concerned about the economic impact of previous policies than the record number of cases.
Current status: Despite the accepted compromise, it did little to ease the strained business operations.
- ““Companies really need to figure out some basic things — to provide employees with medical supplies, including antigen tests, masks and medications, etc.,” Eric Zheng, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, told the WSJ.
Between the lines: The country’s government has been trying to avoid the now rapid spread of COVID and why it has resisted lifting its COVID protocols.
Big picture: The current stalemate between the economic recovery and the ongoing pandemic is why investors have little reason to cheer about China’s reopening.
- China’s Covid-19 death toll could reach nearly 1 million when it reopens, CNN estimates, a concern for the rest of the world given the size of the country’s GDP and economy, State Department spokesman Ned Price said this week.
- Meanwhile, international companies doing business in China have lost confidence in local politicians, leaving investors guessing.
Our thought bubble: The pandemic has crippled one of China’s and the world’s greatest sources of economic strength: its huge and healthy population.