- The global community might be wondering what is happening with the Chinese administration’s ill-advised and counterproductive measures like strict lockdowns and zero-Covid strategy even after a lapse of two and a half years since the pandemic struck. As the entire universe adopts what the experts’ have been ascertaining vis-à-vis making efforts to live with the virus without perennial disruptions to economic activities and in turn livelihood concerns, it is baffling to see Beijing still sticking with stringent lockdowns. Even as the global citizens fervently wish to move ahead with their lives, irrespective of a new Covid variant or the older variant playing truant, the Chinese administration imposing draconian lockdown measures is simply unfathomable.
PC: Evelyn Cheng
- The record-breaking timely invention of vaccinations has immensely helped the universe to tide over the Covid crises to a great extent will be an understatement, no less. That several economies could commence activities without worrying too much about the virulent virus creating further destruction speaks volumes about the vaccine boon. However, despite vaccines proving to be quite effective at keeping the hospitalization and mortality numbers at acceptable levels, the Dragon Nation continuing to impose lockdowns makes no sense at all. No wonder, China’s economy grew by only 0.4% in the April-June quarter, adding to fears of a global recession that might severely undermine the efforts of reverting to normalcy.
- Mind you, the sharp slowdown was brought on by strict Covid lockdowns imposed across major Chinese centers in April and May, including the commercial hub of Shanghai. As mentioned above, China is the only major country today that continues to adhere to a stringent zero-Covid strategy. And given the upcoming 20th Chinese Community Party (CCP) Congress where Xi Jinping is seeking to secure an unconventional third term as head of the Chinese state, Beijing cannot get off this wagon in a jiffy. In other words, what this means, in turn, is that the global economy continues to be held to ransom by the peculiarities of the Chinese political system. China, as the largest trader and factory in the world, holds a dominant position in global supply chains.
- However, the global supply chains have taken a severe beating with the pandemic as well as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war needs no further emphasis. To top it off, the Chinese penchant for lockdowns has only exacerbated the situation even further. Beijing today is weaponizing economic interdependencies to achieve strategic objectives. In fact, China behaved less-than-responsibly in the early days of the pandemic. That is now widely believed to have aided the rapid spread of the disease across the world. In hindsight, China should have reached out to WHO with a warning before 31, 2019. Sadly, China privileged protecting the image of the CCP and Xi over a transparent Covid response.
- It’s doing so again with its zero-Covid strategy and blocking of investigations into Covid’s origins. Major countries, including India, must find ways to reduce dependence on China’s production chains. Moreover, investing in resilient supply networks would not harm either. Like-minded countries should join hands by forming alliances to counter the Chinese idiosyncrasies.