World: China anti-virus curbs spur fears of global economic impact

China expands lockdowns as COVID-19 cases hit daily record

  China expands lockdowns as COVID-19 cases hit daily record BEIJING (AP) — China is expanding lockdowns, including in a cental city where factory workers clashed this week with police, as its number of COVID-19 cases hit a daily record. People in eight districts of Zhengzhou with a total of 6.6 million residents were told to stay home for five days beginning Thursday, except to buy food or get medical treatment. Daily mass testing was ordered in what the city government called a “war of annihilation” against the virus. © Provided by The Associated Press A delivery man checks his phone after leaving his deliveries outside an old folks home decorated with the word "Fortune" t in Beijing, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.

BEIJING (AP) — Anti-virus controls that are confining millions of Chinese families to their homes and shut shops and offices are spurring fears of further damage to already weak global business and trade.

Women wearing face masks stand near a heart-shaped decoration in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Anti-virus controls that are confining millions of Chinese families to their homes and shut shops and offices are spurring fears already weak global business and trade might suffer. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) © Provided by The Associated Press Women wearing face masks stand near a heart-shaped decoration in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Anti-virus controls that are confining millions of Chinese families to their homes and shut shops and offices are spurring fears already weak global business and trade might suffer. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

The ruling Communist Party promised on Nov. 11 to reduce disruptions from its “zero- COVID” strategy by making controls more flexible. But the latest wave of outbreaks is challenging that, prompting major cities including Beijing to close off populous districts, shut stores and offices and order factories to isolate their workforces from outside contact.

War, North Korea missile tests loom over Asia-Pacific summit

  War, North Korea missile tests loom over Asia-Pacific summit BANGKOK (AP) — Threats to peace and stability burst onto the agenda at a summit of Pacific Rim leaders Friday in Bangkok after North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile that landed near Japanese territorial waters. The missile test was a stark reminder of persisting risks of conflict in the region and beyond, on top of frictions between the big powers that threaten to unravel the global order. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Canada, Australia and New Zealand convened an emergency meeting on the missile launch. “This conduct by North Korea most recently is a brazen violation of multiple U.N. Security resolutions.

On Tuesday, the government reported 28,127 cases were found over the past 24 hours in areas throughout China, including 25,902 with no symptoms.

China’s infection numbers are lower than those of the United States and other major countries. But the ruling party is sticking to “zero COVID,” which calls for isolating every case, while other governments are relaxing travel and other controls and trying to live with the virus.

A man has his throat swabbed for a COVID-19 test at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Anti-virus controls that are confining millions of Chinese families to their homes and shut shops and offices are spurring fears already weak global business and trade might suffer. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) © Provided by The Associated Press A man has his throat swabbed for a COVID-19 test at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Anti-virus controls that are confining millions of Chinese families to their homes and shut shops and offices are spurring fears already weak global business and trade might suffer. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Global stock markets fell Monday as anxiety about China’s controls added to unease about a Federal Reserve official’s comment last week that already elevated U.S. interest rates might have to rise further than forecast to cool surging inflation.

Covid Zero Returns to Chinese City Rumored to Be Reopening

  Covid Zero Returns to Chinese City Rumored to Be Reopening A city near Beijing that was rumored to be a test case for China dispensing with all virus restrictions has suspended schools, locked down universities and asked residents to stay at home for five days, a potential sign officials are reverting to tighter Covid Zero curbs as cases multiply. © Getty Images via Bloomberg Boxes of living necessities on the square of a shopping mall in Shijiazhuang on Nov. 14.

Investors are “worried about falling demand as a result of a less mobile Chinese economy amid fears there will be more COVID-related lockdowns,” Fawad Razaqzada of StoneX said in a report.

China is the world’s biggest trader and the top market for its Asian neighbors. Weakness in consumer or factory demand can hurt global producers of oil and other raw materials, computer chips and other industrial components, food and consumer goods. Restrictions that hamper activity at Chinese ports can disrupt global trade.

Residents wearing face masks line up to register to have their throat swabbed for a COVID-19 test at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Anti-virus controls that are confining millions of Chinese families to their homes and shut shops and offices are spurring fears already weak global business and trade might suffer. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) © Provided by The Associated Press Residents wearing face masks line up to register to have their throat swabbed for a COVID-19 test at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Anti-virus controls that are confining millions of Chinese families to their homes and shut shops and offices are spurring fears already weak global business and trade might suffer. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Economic growth rebounded to 3.9% over a year earlier in the three months ending in September, up from the first half’s 2.2%. But activity already was starting to fall back.

European Council chief to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing as bloc seeks to recalibrate ties

  European Council chief to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing as bloc seeks to recalibrate ties European Council President Charles Michel will travel to Beijing to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping next month, a trip that is expected to signal changes to how the European Union handles its ties with Beijing. Michel will visit Beijing on December 1 to meet Xi and other senior Chinese officials, according to a senior EU official. He will not stay in the Chinese capital overnight. The trip was first reported by the Financial Times. It will be the first meeting between Xi and a European Council president in China since 2018.

Retail spending shrank by 0.5% from a year earlier in October, retreating from the previous month’s 2.5% growth as cities re-imposed anti-virus controls. Imports fell 0.3% in a sign of anemic consumer demand, a reverse from September’s 6.7% rise.

Chinese exports shrank by 0.7% in October after American and European consumer demand was depressed by unusually large interest rate increases by the Fed and other central banks to cool inflation that is at multi-decade highs.

Guangdong province, an export-oriented manufacturing powerhouse that is the latest infection hot spot, recorded 9,022 new cases on Tuesday, or almost one-third of the national total. That included 8,241 without symptoms.

On Monday, the government of the provincial capital, Guangzhou, suspended access to its Baiyun district, home to some 3.7 million people, following outbreaks there.

Guangzhou announced plans last week to build quarantine facilities for nearly 250,000 people. It said 95,300 people from another district, Haizhu, were being moved to hospitals or quarantine.

VP Harris assures Asian leaders US is 'here to stay'

  VP Harris assures Asian leaders US is 'here to stay' BANGKOK (AP) — U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris assured Asian leaders Friday that “the United States is here to stay” as she pitched Washington as a reliable economic partner committed to the region and its prosperity. Harris told leaders at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that the U.S. is a “proud Pacific power” and has a “vital interest in promoting a region that is open, interconnected, prosperous, secure and resilient.” “TheHarris told leaders at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that the U.S. is a “proud Pacific power” and has a “vital interest in promoting a region that is open, interconnected, prosperous, secure and resilient.

The government of Shijiazhuang, a city of 11 million people southwest of Beijing, said factories that want to keep operating must impose “closed-loop management,” the official term for employees living at their workplaces. That imposes extra costs for food and living space.

A man wearing a face mask talks to workers in protective suits near a metal barriers set up in a locked down neighborhood and shops as part of COVID-19 controls in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Anti-virus controls that are confining millions of Chinese families to their homes and shut shops and offices are spurring fears already weak global business and trade might suffer. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) © Provided by The Associated Press A man wearing a face mask talks to workers in protective suits near a metal barriers set up in a locked down neighborhood and shops as part of COVID-19 controls in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Anti-virus controls that are confining millions of Chinese families to their homes and shut shops and offices are spurring fears already weak global business and trade might suffer. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Businesspeople and economists see the changes in anti-virus controls as a step toward eventually lifting controls that isolate China from the rest of the world. But they say “zero COVID” might stay in place until as late as the second half of next year.

Entrepreneurs are pessimistic about the outlook despite government promises of less disruptive anti-virus measures, according to a survey by Peking University researchers and financial company Ant Group Ltd. It said a “confidence index” based on responses from 20,180 business owners fell to its lowest level since early 2021.

China's 'zero-COVID' limits saved lives but no clear exit

  China's 'zero-COVID' limits saved lives but no clear exit China's strategy of controlling the coronavirus with lockdowns, mass testing and quarantines has provoked the greatest show of public dissent against the ruling Communist Party in decades. Most protesters on the mainland and in Hong Kong have focused their anger on restrictions that confine families to their homes for months. Global health experts have criticized China's methods as unsustainable. A look at China's “zero-COVID” approach: CHINA'SMost protesters on the mainland and in Hong Kong have focused their anger on restrictions that confine families to their homes for months. Global health experts have criticized China's methods as unsustainable.

The ruling party needs to vaccinate millions of elderly people before it can lift controls that keep out most foreign visitors, economists and health experts say.

“We do not think the country is ready yet to open up,” said Louis Loo of Oxford Economics in a report. “We expect the Chinese authorities will continue to fine-tune COVID controls over the coming months, moving toward a broader and more comprehensive reopening later.”

How Worried Should We Be About Rising Covid Cases In China? .
As we already know, the virus does not care about international borders.Case numbers reached 31,527 on Wednesday, even though Covid restrictions are still so strict, and a fifth of the country’s economy remains limited.

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