A woman wearing a face mask rides a bicycle past a large television screen displaying Chinese President Xi Jinping, Hong Kong, July 1, 2022 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).
Chinese President Xi Jinping toured Wuhan last week in what amounted to a victory lap, triumphantly walking through production facilities and industrial sectors in the city that was the coronavirus pandemic’s Ground Zero when it emerged in December 2019. Xi’s visit was significant for two key, if distinct, reasons. One was to inspect “Optics Valley,” a burgeoning technology hub that symbolizes China’s ambitions to develop home-grown innovation and boost self-reliance. As with many of his visits to manufacturing facilities and incubators for critical technology sectors across China, Xi took photos with key personnel at the manufacturing sites and spoke about [...]
Travelers wait in line at a check-in counter at Kunming Changshui International Airport, Kunming, China, March 22, 2022 (AP photo by Dake Kang).
A growing number of Chinese middle- and upper-class citizens are seeking to emigrate, citing disillusionment with Beijing’s heavy-handed “Zero COVID” pandemic restrictions. The sense of despair and desperation driving their planned departures stand in contrast to the overwhelming sense of optimism that characterized public sentiment during China’s rise as a global power over the past two decades. On the Chinese social media platform WeChat, search entries for the word “immigration” increased more than fourfold between early and mid-April, the Economist reported. “It’s like an alarm bell has gone off,” said Miranda Wang, a Chinese videographer based in Shanghai, where a seven-week [...]
A man walks past a bank’s electronic board showing the share index at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, April 12, 2022 (AP photo by Vincent Yu).
A number of prominent economists and business leaders are sounding the alarm over China’s “zero COVID” coronavirus strategy, painting a gloomy outlook for China’s economy. The government-imposed extended lockdowns and isolation periods to stamp out every outbreak of the virus in cities around the country are creating economic uncertainties and casting doubt on Beijing’s ability to reach its target of 5.5 percent economic growth in 2022. Beijing’s continued ambiguity regarding its position on the conflict in Ukraine, in which it professes to be neutral, is also worsening its already tense relationship with the U.S., while straining ties with the European Union. [...]
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