Shanghai outbreak; Economic worries; John Lee 李家超 for Hong Kong CE; EU-China
The Shanghai outbreak continues to worsen, the lockdowns show no signs of ending, and the National Convention & Exhibition Center on the site of the annual China International Import Expo is going to be turned into the largest "Fangcang" temporary hospital, with 40,000+ beds. From all the official utterances over the last day it is clear they are preparing for things to get worse before they improve.
Worries about the economy are growing. The March Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index was bad and Wednesday’s State Council Executive Meeting readout said that:
“the complexity and uncertainties of the environment at home and abroad have exceeded expectations…and new downward pressure on the economy has increased”.
The meeting also said the government would:
“promptly implement the guiding principles of the Central Economic Work Conference and measures adopted in the Government Work Report, some of which may be implemented ahead of schedule”.
One thing that appears to have been implemented ahead of schedule is this year’s special purpose bond quota, which the 21st Century Business Herald reported has already been issued.
The State Council Executive Meeting readout will also raise hopes for more monetary policy support.
Today’s Essential Eight:
Worries about the economy
More Real estate loosening
Could zero-covid cause food shortages?
More signs the EU-China summit did not go well
John Lee 李家超 likely the next Hong Kong Chief Executive
Financial stability law
The Essential Eight
1. Shanghai outbreak
The vast majority of the infected cases showed no symptoms of illness, with 16,766 asymptomatic, while 311 of the infected showed symptoms, according to the Shanghai public health commission. The single-day infection number also beat the nation’s previous all-time high of 13,436 cases recorded in Wuhan on February 12, 2000, where the coronavirus outbreak originated.
Shanghai’s municipal government started a new round of mass testing on Wednesday morning to spot infections and the transmission chain after studying the results of a three-day mass testing exercise from Sunday to Tuesday, according to a document seen by the Post, that did not disclose the number of infections from the earlier tests.
Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, after visiting quarantine centers, makeshift hospitals, nucleic acid tests centers and communities, urged the city to adopt stricter attitude, more thorough measures, and swifter actions, to ratchet up building of makeshift hospitals, expand isolation venues, and strictly follow guidelines in order to defeat COVID-19...
The Vice Premier also asked Shanghai to plug loopholes, guarantee people's life necessities and medical needs, and ensure smooth operation of ports and the supply chain industry.
Readout of Sun Chunlan's activities on April and 5, highlight her visit to the Shanghai Hudong Container company to understand what they are doing to try to maintain normal operations. She also visited fangcang hospital construction sites and urged them to build them faster, and also commented on the importance of keeping supply chains stable and operating.
The National Convention & Exhibition Center on the site of the annual China International Import Expo is going to be turned into the largest "Fangcang"/temporary hospital, with 40,000+ beds 按目前的改建方案，将设置床位4万余张，是中国已建的最大方舱医院。
Zhejiang and Jiangsu are providing 60,000 beds for people transferred from Shanghai for quarantine
1,383 indigenous [symptomatic] cases, 973 in Jilin province including 817 in Changchun, 136 in Jilin city...311 in Shanghai municipality...19,089 [asymptomatic] indigenous cases...16,766 in Shanghai municipality...1,798 in Jilin province including 1,682 in Changchun, 112 in Jilin city
An Open Letter from Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China to Communist Party Members in the whole city
Our party comrades should go deep into the grassroots and the masses, stand together with the grassroots cadres and masses, work together, organize the most urgently needed forces at the grassroots level, deploy the most scarce resources in the community; our party comrades should make good voices, spread positive energy, resolutely implement and actively publicize the decisions and deployments of the Central Committee and the municipal party committee, actively respond to the concerns of the masses, and widely disseminate the information about the advanced figures and touching deeds that emerged in the fight against the epidemic, dare to show their swords and struggle against all kinds of behaviors that interfere with and undermine the overall situation of the epidemic, take the initiative to speak out against all kinds of noises and especially rumors, clarify right and wrong, so as to unite as one and overcome difficulties together.
"The Shanghai Municipal Party Committee and Government held a meeting on epidemic prevention and control, and rearranged and implemented social mobilization and daily necessities"
Li Qiang pointed out that to contain the spread of the epidemic in the shortest time requires the mobilization of the whole city, the participation of the whole people, the organization and leadership must be strong, party members and officials must come forward, and all aspects must join hands. Party committees and governments at all levels should strengthen organization and leadership, ensure efficient operation of the command system and careful organization of all forces...
Comment: Shanghai Party Secretary Li Qiang must be extremely stressed. Who might replace him if his head eventually rolls for this disaster in Shanghai? Ying Yong has some free time, and has a lot of experience in Shanghai and then running Hubei after Jiang Chaoliang was removed from his post for mishandling the Wuhan outbreak. Ying will be 65 in November and spent a large part of his career working in Zhejiang. It would be a bit more complicated to remove Li Qiang since he is a Politburo member, but given how Li has mishandled the Shanghai outbreak it is hard to see how he keeps his job.