Shanghai – China’s largest city and financial center – has been under a severe lockdown since April 1st as Beijing seeks to contain a runaway outbreak of the Omicron (and Omicron BA.2) variant. Beijing’s dogmatic promotion of the domestically produced Chinese COVID vaccine (and refusal to import foreign-made, more effective mRNA vaccines) has left the Chinese population poorly protected against the coronavirus as we head into the third year of the pandemic.
Incredibly strict lockdowns are the only tool available to Chinese leadership as they continue to pursue a “COVID Zero” policy, but with the most recent variant infections and deaths continue to rise as an overwhelmed health and security apparatus struggles to keep up.
The people of Shanghai, and Hong Kong, and likely soon Beijing are facing extraordinary pressures as hunger and surveillance and fear and censorship take their toll. And the cult of personality that Chinese President Xi Jinping has worked to build over the past decade is squarely in the crosshairs.
The war in Ukraine isn’t doing Xi any favors, either. Beijing is facing a world now where private companies and investors – both critical cogs in China’s economic systems – have been flexing their boycott muscles. Too draconian a response against potential protests risks triggering a massive global economic backlash. And for a country in desperate need of fuel and food imports, Russian supplies face a logistical blockade of limited infrastructure capacity, geographic challenges, and the constant spectre of international sanctions.
Having difficulty keeping up with the chaotic and quickly-changing landscape of Russia sanctions and commodities markets?
We have been offering a series of in-depth presentations on the global impacts of the Ukraine war on various industries.
So far, we’ve tackled the challenges facing energy, agriculture, and industrial materials. You can purchase access to the recordings of both of these webinars via the buttons below:
We will continue to post our analysis and updates on this and other topics related to the Ukraine War. This newsletter and its affiliated videologues are, and always will be, free. New subscribers can sign up here.
Finally, a reminder:
Russia’s strategic shift from thunder runs to a civilian obliteration has already forced ten million Ukrainians from their homes, with nearly four million now living in limbo in foreign lands. All proceeds from all formats of all of our previous books are being donated to the Afya Foundation, a charity which provides medical assistance to refugees from the Ukraine War. The buttons below will direct you to our purchase pages where you can both find out a bit more about each book, as well as select purchase options ranging from e-services to your local bookstore.