Communist China has put the major trade city of Shanghai under new COVID-19 lockdown restrictions — and that means global supply chains just got tied into new knots.
The largest seaport in the world, Port of Shanghai accounts for a quarter of mainland China’s shipping trade, making it a huge potential point of failure.
Except that with this weekend’s lockdown order, “potential” is now “actual.”
Communist China is dealing with another severe COVID-19 outbreak despite the country’s “zero tolerance” policy towards the virus.
I guess nobody told the virus.
Already in 2022, the Communist country has suffered more COVID cases than in all of 2021.
But with the closure of Shanghai and other cities, China’s problem just became the world’s problem.
It Isn’t Just Shanghai
Complicating things further is the even stricter lockdown in Shenzhen, the major tech hub in southern China.
The southern city of Shenzhen imposed the measure to counter an Omicron flare-up in factories and neighborhoods linked to nearby Hong Kong, which is recording scores of daily deaths as the virus runs rampant.
Major Apple supplier Foxconn suspended its operations in Shenzhen, the company said Monday, as the lockdown bit hard into economic activity across the factory hub.
Shenzhen is one of ten cities nationwide to have locked down all residents, though the measure was taken Monday in some parts of other major hubs including Dalian, Nanjing and Tianjin, which neighbors the capital.
The Wall Street Journal reported early on Monday the origins of the new outbreak:
China’s latest wave of infections comes amid a coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong, a Chinese city that has a different governance system. Hong Kong has been criticized for not acting more quickly to contain the virus and has since late December recorded more than 700,000 cases and the world’s highest death rate, mostly among a group of unvaccinated elderly residents.
According to official data found by the WSJ — coming from China, so take that with a grain of salt — “almost 90% of China’s population is fully vaccinated, barely half of the 35.8 million aged over 80 are.”
If this is at all accurate, maybe China’s “zero tolerance” policy starts to make a stupid kind of sense.
Communist China is rapidly aging, with over 14% of the population in the over-65 age group and most at risk of dying from COVID. (The U.S. is at nearly 17%, but rising more slowly.)
Experimental vaccines that often don’t do more than mitigate the symptoms of COVID might not make much sense for people at very little risk of getting seriously ill from COVID. But for people who are at high risk — like China’s over-80 cohort — getting jabbed is almost always the right thing to do.
So why are China’s elderly (unlike older folks in the U.S.) refusing to get vaccinated in such astonishingly high numbers?
Whatever the reason, Chinese strongman Xi Jinping can’t afford to be seen presiding over the funerals of umpteen jillion dead Chinese.
What Xi can afford — and probably delights in — is sticking it to a U.S. economy already hamstrung by over-spending and over-regulation.
During the initial Wuhan outbreak in late 2019, China shut down domestic travel from Wuhan, while allowing international travel from Wuhan.
With this week’s new shutdowns, Xi is once again exporting China’s problems to the rest of the world.