GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
There are many good things happening in China (not that you would know from reading the Western media); 1bn people have been lifted out of poverty; 140m Chinese Tourists travelled the world in 2019; the US Edelman Index regularly reports China in #1 position in world analysis of populations support for their governments. There is bad news as this Column often mentions but for the World Media there is only one way – China is a big negative.
Look at an aspect of Covid. Reuters reports that China plans the return of Shanghai “to more normal life from June 1 and the end of a painful COVID-19 lockdown that has lasted more than six weeks and contributed to a sharp slowdown in China’s economic activity.”
In the clearest timetable yet, Deputy Mayor Zong Ming said Shanghai’s reopening would be carried out in stages, with movement curbs remaining in place until May 21 to prevent a rebound in infections. She went on to say “that, as long as risks of a rebound in infections are controlled, we will fully implement epidemic prevention and control, normalize management, and fully restore normal production and life in the city,” she said.
Supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies re-opened on 16 May. China’s railway operators have increased the number of trains arriving/departing + airlines are flying again.
Shanghai had a choice. It could adopt the casual laissez-faire approach of the US/UK (now nearing 1.2m deaths) or the rigorous relentless approach of China (4,500 deaths). No question – the lockdown of Shanghai + the curbs on consumer/worker freedoms, retail sales, industrial production + employment are uncomfortable. Covid is ‘uncomfortable’. But what comes first? – the lives of citizens or the economy? The economy will recover – the dead do not.