Shanghai outbreak; Standing committee meets; EU-China summit; Key risks for cities
The outbreak in Shanghai is getting worse, it looks likely lockdowns will be tightened and extended, and the Wall Street Journal reports that there have been unreported deaths from Covid at an elder care hospital, something that has been rumored for a few days. The case number data from Shanghai already look a little strange, if the officials are also covering up deaths then this could get really bad.
The standing committee met Thursday and the readout only discussed the recent plane crash and work to handle it and prevent future safety issues. It seems noteworthy that official media has reported in two Standing Committee meetings this month, though exactly why I am not sure.
China and the EU will hold a virtual summit Friday, from various accounts it appears this will not be a happy event. Xi must really miss Merkel.
This is what I wrote on February 22nd:
Meanwhile, there seems to still be hope among PRC policymakers that the EU will maintain strategic opportunity and pursue a different, less tough approach to the PRC than the US is taking. But a bloody war in Europe launched by Russia that the PRC refuses to condemn will likely harden views towards the PRC in many European capitals and give momentum to those politicians in places like Germany who have been pushing for a tougher line on the PRC. And if the PRC not only does not condemn but also helps Russia cushion the impact from sanctions, then the bottom may fall out of the EU-PRC relationship.
The PRC still seems to think they can split the EU from the US on the Ukraine issue. Can they?
Thanks for reading, and I hope to see many of you in tomorrow’s weekly discussion.
Today’s Essential Eight:
Shanghai outbreak worsens
Standing committee meets again
Previewing Friday’s EU-China virtual summit
No signs of progress towards US-China audit deal
Meeting on Afghanistan
Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission on key risks for cities
Trial of Australian Cheng Lei, former CGTN journalist
The Essential Eight
1. Shanghai outbreak worsens
Shanghai adds 355 indigenous symptomatic cases and 5298 asymptomatic ones per the 3.31 official data. No deaths reported
Jilin also sounds very bad, reports of problems with food delivery - March 31: Daily briefing on novel coronavirus cases in China
1,340 indigenous symptomatic cases in Jilin province including 997 in Changchun, 835 asymptomatic cases in Jilin...Fujian has 129 asymptomatic cases.
Many patients have died in recent days at a large Shanghai elderly-care hospital that is battling a Covid-19 outbreak, according to people familiar with the situation, a sign that a new wave of infections is hitting China’s financial capital harder than authorities have publicly disclosed.
Shanghai’s government hasn’t reported any Covid-related deaths or outbreaks in its hundreds of elderly-care centers since cases began climbing in the city in March.
Six replacement orderlies at the city’s Donghai Elderly Care Hospital, brought in after previous caretakers were sent away to quarantine, told The Wall Street Journal that they had witnessed or heard of the recent removal of several bodies from the facility, where they said at least 100 patients had tested positive for Covid-19.
Comment: Tragic but no surprise, been hearing some horror stories. Sadly likely to be more, far too many unvaccinated elderly
Shanghai has been beefing up its COVID-19 preventions measures after a 3,000-official meeting on Wednesday night and vowed to adopt a strategy of what it termed "static management of the whole region," citywide nucleic acid testing as its officials admitted being ill prepared for the latest wave of fast-rising infections...
Ma Chunlei, deputy secretary general of the Shanghai government, admitted at a daily news conference on Thursday that Shanghai was ill prepared for the latest surge in infections, had not developed sufficient knowledge about the highly contagious Omicron variant, and its control measures have not been up to speed. He said the municipal government accepts criticism and vowed to improve.
His comment comes after Li Qiang, Party chief of Shanghai, said during a video meeting on Wednesday that Shanghai is now in the most difficult and key stage of the COVID-19 fight, and every hour and minute counts. The official said that Shanghai will resort to static management of the whole city, carry out city-wide nucleic acid testing to round up at-risk groups and staunch viral infections within the community as soon as possible.
Comment: "Static Management 静态管理" likely means even stricter lockdowns