China - Business Or Security?


People are getting uppity. China, Iran...and a bunch of the stans. Various forms of fecal matter may hit several propellers in the near future.

Rain Man

Super Anarchist
Wet coast.
People are getting uppity. China, Iran...and a bunch of the stans. Various forms of fecal matter may hit several propellers in the near future.
Folks in the countries run by dictators can see that life is, while far from perfect, generally much better in countries run by elected politicians who are at least occasionally accountable to the people who elect them. They just want the same circumstances we already have, and rightly so. The question is simply whether they can organize themselves well enough to get what they want.


Super Anarchist
Great Lakes
Some people are comparing this to Tiananmen Square but I think it is very different. My wife was in TS, we have a photo of her with the liberty statue in the background. It was after she finished her master's and before she went to England for her doctorate. She was in the square at first in curiosity and near the end to try to get people to leave when the government announced they were going to clear the square. By that time most of the Beijing students had left the square but thousands of others had come from other cities for their turn at being protestors. Throughout this demonstration those in the square had only vague ideas of what they wanted and no obvious leaders even if the government wanted to negotiate - they didn't of course.

The current demonstrations in much of the country, not just Beijing, also does not have common leadership but it does have a clear goal - the end of COVID policy that has not worked and really cannot work. Also, these protests involve many more demographic segments than just students. XI finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place - couldn't happen to a nicer guy, well maybe Putin or Kim. Xi cannot admit that his policy has failed, he has too much personal prestige attached to it. Admitting failure might mean the end of his reign. What the government is trying to do is closely focus shutdowns and other measures to very specific districts. The problem is that carrying out the policy is the responsibility of local officials in cities and counties who owe their jobs to Xi and the regime. If they are not restrictive enough in their domains and there is a serious outbreak they will be canned. In general, they are taking a better safe than sorry approach with wider restrictions, which only pisses off ever more people.

A comment about social media and tech in all this. China is even more into this than we are in the West, which is saying something. Every Chinese person has a cell phone and a COVID app on it. People get tested all the time and if they pass they get a green screen which allows them to carry on with their lives. A yellow, perhaps as a result of being in contact with someone who tests positive, means a 14 day quarantine and a red means being immediately sent to hospital for at least 14 days. The government are doing their best to limit social media spreading news about the protests but they can't catch all posts, plus people travel from city to city so news of the protests spreads fairly easily.

What will happen I cannot guess, only time will tell.



Supper Anarchist
I find the use of blank paper interesting. It is borrowed from the Hong Kong protests, when protestors were forbidden to list demands or chant slogans. This shows awareness and communication throughout China, despite all attempts of government to control the message. The emergence of China as a business power no doubt helped as so many Chinese travel both China and the world on business. So did the leisure travel many enjoyed over the Chinese New Year pre CoViD, before Xi attempted to revert China to pre globalization.


Super Anarchist
Great Lakes
Pre-COVID China had the largest number of tourists visiting foreign countries. It had multiplied from groups of people following their leader carrying a flag to millions travelling independently. Many tens of millions of Chinese have personal exposure to other countries.

I find Chinese universities sending students home an interesting tactic. The idea is to reduce the critical mass of students particularly in Beijing which has something like 90 universities. Could backfire as students returning home could spread the word. Too early to tell though.

billy backstay

Backstay, never bought a suit, never went to Vegas
It was on the news that China has not developed vaccines and total vaccination protocols like most of the first world countries. I don't understand why they would not do this, and instead hope that lockdowns would solve the problem, which it certainly has not.
B-C, can you speak to that please?


Super Anarchist
Great Lakes
China does have its own vaccine called Sinovac which apparently is the most widely used COVID vaccine in the world both in China and in much of the developing world. As part of its soft power initiative China has donated hundreds of millions of dozes in Asia and Africa. The vaccine is not nearly as effective as Moderna et al but is much cheaper. It was developed by a company called CanSino where the Can refers to Canada and Sino to China. The guys who founded the company studied and worked in Canada before going back to China to establish the company. Some stats I found say that as of July, 3.4 billion vaccine doses have been given in China, so more than two per person, although a major problem is that vaccinations for the over 80 year olds is particularly low.


Super Anarchist
Great Lakes
I think the zero Covid strategy is costing China an immense amount of money between hiring tens of thousands of folks to do the checking and the economy being hugely disrupted. I think Xi will or die on this policy and it is not a good thing for him I think.


New member
China can be seen as both a business and security concern, depending on the specific context and perspective. It is important for governments, businesses, and individuals to carefully consider the risks and opportunities associated with engaging with China and to approach the country with a nuanced understanding of its complex role in the global economy and international relations.


Super Anarchist
West Maui
New models predict at least 1 million deaths in China amid covid surge

A fast-spreading covid-19 outbreak in China has researchers predicting a surge in virus-related deaths next year, with several analyses forecasting more than 1 million fatalities in a country that until now has largely kept the coronavirus in check.

Earlier this month, China dramatically loosened its strict “zero covid” policies following a wave of protests in towns and cities where residents were fed up with years of stringent lockdowns, mass testing and centralized quarantines. The demonstrations marked the most significant show of public dissent in China in years.

But many of China’s 1.4 billion people remain vulnerable to the virus because of limited exposure, low vaccination rates and poor investment in emergency care. And now, funeral homes and crematoriums in Beijing, the capital, are struggling to keep up with demand, Reuters reported.

On Friday, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), a global health research institute at the University of Washington in Seattle, projected that China’s covid-19 death toll would spike to more than 322,000 by April. An analysis of the report by Reuters found that China could see more than 1 million coronavirus deaths in 2023 — up from an official toll now of just 5,235.

That would put China’s death toll on par with the United States, where 1.1 million people have died of covid-19 since the pandemic began.

“However way we look at it, it’s very likely that the next few months are going to be quite challenging for China,” IHME director Christopher Murray said in a video statement earlier this month. “The populations at greatest risk in the world are those that have avoided a lot of transmission and have gaps in vaccination. And that’s exactly the case for China.”

The virus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019 — and quickly spread around the globe. But after that initial outbreak, Chinese authorities embarked on a hard-line strategy to prevent transmission, closing the country’s borders, isolating patients and their contacts, and in some cases locking down entire cities to keep the virus from circulating.

As new, more infectious variants appeared — including omicron and its offshoots — the strategy became less effective, experts say, while angering residents who watched as the rest of the world opened up.

The virus was already spreading “intensively” in China before authorities relaxed restrictions on Dec. 7, the World Health Organization said last week.

“There’s a narrative at the moment that China lifted the restrictions and all of a sudden the disease is out of control,” the WHO’s emergencies director, Mike Ryan, said at a news conference Wednesday. “The disease was spreading intensively because I believe the control measures in themselves were not stopping the disease. And I believe China decided strategically that was not the best option anymore.”

Still, a separate study published last week by researchers in Hong Kong predicted that 684 people per million would die if China reopened without a mass vaccination booster campaign and other measures. According to a Bloomberg News analysis, that would add up to about 964,000 deaths over the course of the reopening.

China’s official coronavirus vaccination rate is 90 percent, which includes two doses of its domestically produced vaccines. But those shots, which use older technology, have lower efficacy rates than messenger RNA vaccines and offer weaker protection against new variants, experts say. Another problem in China is vaccine hesitancy, particularly among the elderly. Just 40 percent of Chinese older than 80 have received a booster shot.

China’s “vaccine induced immunity has waned over time and with low booster uptake and no natural infections, the population is more susceptible to severe disease,” said Airfinity, a London-based health analytics firm.

Airfinity’s own models, released in late November, projected between 1.3 million and 2.1 million deaths in China if the government abruptly ended its zero-covid policy.

Other estimates have been even bleaker. Also in November, epidemiologists led by Zhou Jiatong, the head of the Center for Disease Control in China’s Guangxi region, estimated that more than 2 million people could die if the country suffered a covid-19 surge similar to the one that hit Hong Kong in the spring.

Because China stopped publicizing asymptomatic cases — and appeared to tighten its definition of a covid death — earlier this month, the IHME and others used Hong Kong’s omicron outbreak to inform their models. The variant ripped through the densely populated region, and within three months, the population of just 7.4 million saw more than a million new coronavirus cases and some 7,000 deaths.

Now, the severity of China’s coronavirus surge is being reported largely anecdotally, with stories of deserted streets, strained hospitals and funeral homes, and pharmacies being emptied of fever medication and traditional remedies.

Murray, the IHME director, said China has several options. It could slow the transition away from zero covid to avoid overwhelming hospitals. It could also change course and try to inoculate residents with mRNA vaccines or increase access to antiviral medications such as Paxlovid.

Last week, Pfizer signed an agreement with the state-owned China Meheco Group Co. to import and distribute Paxlovid on the mainland, Bloomberg News reported.
The Hong Kong-based researchers also wrote that waiting a month to reopen and using that time to increase booster and antiviral coverage could reduce cumulative deaths in China by 26 percent.

“Although the surge of disease burden posed by reopening in December 2022 — January 2023 would likely overload most local health systems nationwide, a reopening strategy that combines vaccination, antiviral treatment and [public health and social measures] could allow China to exit zero-COVID more safely,” they wrote.