What a difference a day makes.
Last Friday, Commodities prices rallied on Friday after China’s National Health Commission indicated it would loosen some of its strict COVID policies and travel restrictions.
When the markets opened on Monday it was a different story, as commodity prices, especially oil, sharply slumped after major cities reported record high COVID cases.
A major Chinese city announced last week that it will extend its COVID-19 lockdown after registering most of the country’s newly transmitted cases.
Guangzhou, which is in southern China and considered a major export powerhouse, put strict limitations on the movement of about 4 million of its 13 million residents. These individuals must stay home and leave only for essential matters.
Residents who live in the city have taken to online forums to complain about the government’s heavy-handed response to the outbreak. CNN noted that one resident posted on Weibo that the city had to lock down in April and again in November.
“The government hasn’t provided subsidies—do you think my rent doesn’t cost money?” the user posted. The report said the post was laced with profanities.
Other posters essentially told the government to “Go to Hell.”
The CNN report said these critical posts are often removed quickly, but these have remained on the platform because they are written in languages that most of these censors cannot understand, namely Cantonese, which is spoken in Southern China, and not Mandarin.
China identified a total of 11,773 infections on Saturday, including 10,351 people who were asymptomatic. The Associated Press noted that there were a total of 3,775 infections in Guangzhou alone, including 2,996 in people who showed no symptoms.
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal continues to report on China’s extended lockdown because we’ve noted that the West has used Beijing to form its modus operandi in dealing with the virus. (See “CHINA RAMPS UP COVID WAR: DETAINS 200,000 AT IPHONE PLANT, ONE COVID CASE AND THEY LOCKDOWN DISNEYLAND,” “CHINA XI HINTS THAT HE WILL NOT LET UP ON COUNTRY’S ZERO-COVID POLICY…WILL WEST FOLLOW AGAIN?” and “CHINA CONTINUES ITS ‘ZERO-COVID STRATEGY,’ LOCKS DOWN MUCH OF WUHAN AGAIN.”)
We’re already seeing the beginning of COVID-19 mandates returning. Dr. Theresa Tam, the chief public health officer in Canada, announced that multiple layers of personal protection will be needed in the coming weeks to reduce the threat of a fall surge in COVID, flu, and RSV cases.
“Although no individual layer of protection is perfect, when used consistently and together, vaccine plus layers can provide excellent protection against COVID-19 as well as other infectious diseases we may encounter,” Tam said, according to CTV News.
TRENDPOST: We noted earlier this month that Xi Jinping, when accepting his third term as China’s president, vowed no letup in the policy, saying it has “protected the people’s health and safety to the greatest extent possible.”
We’ve noted that Xi has filled his top brass with Yes-Men, but indicated earlier this month that he is not completely ignorant to the hardships the country faces. He told the fifth annual China International Import Expo in Shanghai that China will pursue a “mutually beneficial strategy” of opening up and adhering to the “right course of economic globalization.”
“We will step up efforts to cultivate a robust domestic market, upgrade trade in goods, develop new mechanisms for trade in services, and import more quality products,” he said. “China will work with all countries and parties to share the opportunities in its vast market.”
Beijing announced Friday that it will ease some of its COVID protocols on travelers. Visiting international passengers will now have to undergo just one pre-departure test and will be forced to quarantine for five days instead of seven. Those who are considered “close contacts” to a COVID case will also be forced to quarantine at centralized government facilities for five days instead of seven, followed by an additional three at home.
We noted earlier this month that more than half of the 307 companies surveyed by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai believe the draconian anti-COVID lockdown measures being continued by China’s president Xi Jinping are damaging business conditions.
A fifth of the firms said they are cutting back on new investment because of the policy.