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China’s borders will likely remain closed for months, but some may be reluctant to visit even after they reopen


“Ultimately, businesses need to be aware that the risks in mainland China are now increasingly present in Hong Kong,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

While not a scientific investigation, the results nonetheless suggest a significant change in attitude among a group of prominent Chinese figures, most of whom almost certainly would have planned to visit the country there. has a year or two as part of their professional routines. , It said.

“Among those who responded that they probably or certainly would not visit, the reasons ranged from previous visa denials to outright fear of being detained for themselves and the Chinese they work with or interview,” and fears that restrictions on movement, research or reporting will compromise the professional value of spending time in China, ”said ChinaFile, which is published by the Asia Society’s Center on US-China Relations.

In the article, many respondents cited the continued detention of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor as the main source of their anxiety.

It has been four months since Kovrig and Spavor were tried behind closed doors and 953 days since they were detained, but Beijing has not released any news on any of the men.

Kovrig, an NGO employee and former diplomat, and Spavor, a businessman specializing in North Korea, were arrested following the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. Beijing has charged them with espionage, but most outside of China see their detention as retaliation against Meng’s arrest and a bargaining chip to help leverage his release.

“It’s bad enough to have to worry about being jailed in retaliation for the critical comments you made even years ago. It is much more disturbing to think that you could be thrown in jail as a hostage. just because you have an American passport, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were thrown in jail as Canadian hostages, in retaliation for something my government did and the Chinese regime didn’t like, ”James wrote Mann, journalist and author on China.

For many, the continued detention of the two Canadians Michael will likely serve as a chilling reminder of the risks associated with a visit to China, even after its borders reopen to the world.

And so far, Chinese authorities have shown little urgency to reopen. Unlike small economies that rely heavily on cross-border capital flows, outside talent, or international tourism, Covid-19 border restrictions have not stopped China from resuming growth.

A closed border also gives the Chinese government more control over who it wants to let into the country. Beijing expelled at least 18 foreign correspondents last year, and few Western media have obtained visas for new journalists to be based in China, according to the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of international students enrolled in Chinese universities have been barred from returning to the country, with many express your frustrations on Twitter and mark chinese diplomats for help – to no avail.

Given China’s zero tolerance for Covid cases, it is likely that some restrictions could remain in place until the Beijing Winter Olympics next February, or even until the 20th Communist Party Congress. next fall – two politically important events which Beijing wants to guarantee absolute success.

As elsewhere, the pandemic has changed China in many ways – some of which could add to the concerns of foreigners planning to surrender.

Visitors will be greeted by extensive digital surveillance, which has been central to China’s successful containment of the virus. Their daily movements will be tracked by a mandatory “health code” application for smartphones, required for entry into office buildings, restaurants, shopping centers and train stations. Facial recognition cameras, already common in public places, have also multiplied in residential areas.

Meanwhile, nationalist sentiment, which was already on the rise in China before the pandemic, has reached new heights.

Many Chinese are proud – and rightly so – of China’s ability to quickly bring the epidemic under control, despite its initial mismanagement. But Chinese officials and state media have also pushed the narrative that this is yet another justification for Beijing’s rise – and the West’s decline.

But with the borders fully reopening, it remains to be seen to what extent the burgeoning ultra-nationalism online will affect daily actions and encounters.

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More is better: China said on Tuesday it would allow tax deductions for spending by children under 3 and tightly regulate the after-school tutoring sector, as part of its efforts to raise the country’s plunging birth rates. by encouraging couples to have more children. The Chinese government announced on May 31 that it would allow married couples to have up to three children, instead of two. This week, he further clarified that the change – although it has not yet been passed into law – has already been effective since the announcement, amid confusion over its implementation.

Deadly floods hit central China

Heavy flooding and record-breaking rains devastated parts of Henan Province on Tuesday, leaving terrified subway passengers clinging to the ceiling handles inside flooded cars, trapped up to their necks in the rising waters.

At least 12 people have been confirmed dead in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital, where more than 20 centimeters (7.8 inches) of rain fell in an hour on Tuesday, according to the weather observatory.

All of the recovered bodies were collected from the city’s metro, authorities said.

Images released by the state-run Xinhua News Agency and widely shared online show passengers from Zhengzhou trapped in a flooded subway car, crowded together as the water rises higher. Outside the window, dark floodwater tears, crashing down the subway tracks.

It is not known how many people were trapped in the subway, and rescue efforts continue in Zhengzhou, a city of 12.6 million people on the banks of the Yellow River.

More than 100,000 people have so far been evacuated from low-lying areas of the city, with thousands of emergency personnel deployed to help with the effort, according to state media.

Record rains and similar floods occurring in other parts of the country have alarmed scientists and officials, raising questions about whether China is prepared to face more extreme weather conditions as the climate crisis unfolds. getting worse.

Chinese real estate giant worried about debt crisis

Investor fears are growing over a debt crisis that has engulfed one of China’s biggest real estate developers.

Evergrande Group shares hit a combined rate of 25% on Monday and Tuesday in Hong Kong, wiping out some $ 5 billion in market value and propelling the stock to its worst level in more than four years.

The plunge came after a Chinese court froze $ 20 million in Evergrande’s bank deposits at the behest of one of its creditors.

Evergrande said Monday he would take legal action against the creditor for asking the court to freeze his assets.

The problems of the company are numerous. Evergrande is one of China’s most indebted developers, with more than $ 100 billion in loans by the end of 2020, according to its financial reports.

Given the size of the company – and the fact that its massive debt is largely held in China by banks and retail investors – an Evergrande default could pose significant risks to China’s financial system.

Last month, Bloomberg reported that regulators had asked Evergrande’s major creditors to conduct a new round of stress tests on their exposure to the company, in order to assess the potential impact on their capital and liquidity if Evergrande was having problems.

Moody’s and Fitch also downgraded Evergrande’s credit rating in June, citing its deteriorating financial situation.

“The downgrade reflects Evergrande’s weakened access to financing and reduced liquidity cushion given the large maturities of its debt over the next 12 to 18 months amid tighter credit in China and market volatility capital, ”Cedric Lai, vice president and senior analyst at Moody’s, said in a statement at the time.

Evergrande shares have fallen 48% in Hong Kong since the start of this year.

– By Laura Il

Around asia

  • A 16-year-old boy was due to be charged with murder by Singapore police on Tuesday after a 13-year-old boy was found dead with multiple wounds in a school toilet with an ax.
  • Britain said on Tuesday it would permanently deploy two warships in Asian waters after its aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth and escort ships flew to Japan in September across seas where China competes influence with the United States and Japan.
  • Afghanistan is withdrawing diplomats from Pakistan following the alleged kidnapping of the ambassador’s daughter in the capital Islamabad, according to the Afghan foreign ministry.
  • Typhoon In-fa is intensifying over the northwest Pacific Ocean as it begins to affect parts of Japan. The storm is expected to potentially hit Taiwan and parts of China by this weekend.

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