China’s COVID storm

Workers build a field hospital in China amid the new COVID-19 pandemic.

A small hospital is being built Tuesday for COVID patients in southwest China’s Chongqing. Photo: CNS/AFP via Getty Images

The new disaster of COVID is shaking China, with the number of diseases that cause the return of the closures, including in some manufacturing facilities that supply the West.

  • China reported a recorded number of the disease this week, amid lockdowns and mass testing that is causing chaos and keeping the world running smoothly. Schools in Beijing returned to online teaching.

Why it matters: In addition to the human suffering in the world’s most populous country, the consequences will be felt around the world. Axios China correspondent Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian reports from Taipei.

  • Retail chain It looks set to collapse, causing prices to rise in an already rocky country.
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Countless protests broke out today in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang. Crowds of people yelled at security guards in hazmat suits after a deadly fire that sparked outrage and a lengthy COVID-19 shutdown, Reuters reports.

  • “Finish closing!” Screamed protesters in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi, where a building fire killed 10 people.

What is actually happening: The time to see China’s zero-COVID policy is here.

  • Party leaders they will need to get the entire country into strict lockdowns, as we saw at the beginning of the pandemic – or they will decide it is time to learn to live with COVID.
Epidemic control workers drive along an empty highway in China.
Anti-epidemic workers drive through an empty street in Beijing’s central business district on Wednesday. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

To see the facts: Chinese doctors have warned Xi Jinping that healthcare is not prepared for a major outbreak that could follow a reduction in measures to combat COVID-19, The Financial Times reports.

  • Vaccines made in China, which do not use the mRNA technology used by many developed by the West, it is not effective compared to what is produced in the US And China has the lowest vaccination rates among the elderly.
  • But the number of cases in China it is actually still the lowest anywhere but China.
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Main picture: “Zero COVID” restrictions have destroyed the economy and undermined public confidence in government.

  • It’s an ugly face from the height of the epidemic. Then, many Chinese people felt that strict control had protected them more than any other authority in the world.
  • But it is the same example which has gotten China into its current predicament. Xi built his reputation, and the legitimacy of the party, to win “zero COVID.”
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Between the lines: China’s leaders made a big mistake, because of politics. He refused to import Western-made mRNA vaccines (including Pfizer and Moderna) to his citizens. The vaccine was only recently given to foreigners.

  • Maybe that’s why about Beijing’s massive vaccination push: Chinese officials have presented their vaccines as excellent and safe.
  • It was politically unpleasant to admit “defeat,” and allow the Chinese to make effective – but white-made – jabs.

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