Outbreaks worsen; Yang-Sullivan meeting; Weak loan data; Internet stocks crash
Omicron is raging across China, leading to lockdowns of Jilin province, Shenzhen and possibly soon Shanghai. Some of the outbreaks include the new Omicron subvariant, which is even more transmissible. Expect a lot more social and economic disruptions over the next few weeks.
Yang Jiechi and Jake Sullivan met today for about seven hours in Rome, in a long-planned meeting. The US side has not released anything substantive about the meeting while the PRC readout was primarily focused on US-China relations and Taiwan, with only a brief mention that there was an exchange of views about Ukraine.
The US has an aggressive information strategy towards China and the Ukraine crisis. The US clearly annoyed the Chinese side by leaking to multiple media outlets ahead of the Yang-Sullivan meeting that Russia had asked China to provide military aid, and that China was considering it.
It is a bad sign for Putin if he did request military aid from the PRC, and such a request would put Xi in an awkward p…