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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  January 18, 2022 3:30am-4:01am AST

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restrictions of being stepped up to contain the spread ahead of the lunar new year holiday by so honestly on board that the winter olympics will bring in more cases. when people come from other countries, we do not know how the situation will go to the doctor. i'm not worried, i think the government has been doing well. chinese officials of warning people in high risk areas including beijing, to avoid traveling during the festive period bridge clinic al jazeera hong kong. ah, hello, what you know to see are, these are the top stories. this album, the saudi led coalition has launched a strikes on yelman's capital killing several people. that's after the rebels carried out drone attacks on the united arab emirates targeting and oil facility, as well as the de bye i'm to apple javi a ports us has condemned it as an act of terror. the u. n. is cooling on all parties to exercise
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a maximum restraints and prevent any further escalation. the secretary jones condemns today's attacks on abu dhabi international airport and the nearby industrial area, which were poorly called several civilian casualties. and have been claimed by the who t's attacks on civilian infrastructure and civilians are prohibited by international humanitarian law. the secretary general cause upon all parties to exercise maximum restraint and prevent any escalation against its height and tensions in the region. there are no military solutions to the conflict in yemen. security forces in sudan have cowardly 7 protested, and the capital caught soon. he gas and bullets were fired at demonstrate his marching towards the presidential palace. the un has condemned the violence and cold from top to end the crisis. a 50 year old british when living in tongue i is the 1st known victim of the synonymy that struck the pacific island nation on
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saturday. a strolling and new zealand air force crews have been sent to assess the damage. martin luther king day in the united states has been marked with a march to the capital to demand more protection for voting rights. president joe biden has vowed to pass a new protection law that he lacks support in the senate. ukraine's former president petro pershing co, has appeared in court to deny trays and charges. prosecutors accused him of financing pro russian separatists in eastern new crime. he says he is innocent of what he calls politically motivated accusations and organizes of the beijing winter olympics. i only selected groups will be allowed to attend. next month's game invited spectators will have to stick closely. jacoby 19 protocols, no fans from outside, china are allowed. those are the headlines i'm emily angry and stick around now for inside story. ah
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. can china maintain it? zill covered strategy. the handful of infections is enough to trigger new lockdown restrictions on travel. how will leaders in beijing view the followed on the economy and the lives of one and a half 1000000000 chinese? this is inside story. ah, ah, hello and welcome to the program, rob madison. how many countries have abandoned the aim of stopping all covered 19 infections? as the on the chronic delta variance was spread across the world,
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most governments have avoided re imposing locked ons and travel dance, but not in china. where the corona virus was 1st detected in 2019, china's 1st locally transmitted alma con case was found in beijing where the winter olympics start in less than 3 weeks. now that's prompted health workers to seal off the patients residential, compound, and workplace with our colleagues. still inside a 130 kilometers away in change in 20 infections triggered mass testing for the whole population of 14000000 people. another 13000000 in g and remained stuck in their homes after a handful of infections was detected. 3 weeks ago, videos and social media have showed long queues for food. china's leaders are urging everyone to avoid traveling for traditional celebrations at the start of the lunar new year. but kenneth has more from hong kong, lead up to the olympic games and the lunar new year travel, the largest migration in the world. there have been several go on the chrome cases
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. i in that region tinge in being the focus of the outbreak containment control in the area. one case in beijing, which is near some olympic venues as well. so that's prompted whole range of new restrictions. new measures including a ramped up restrictions ranked, ramped up checks for inbound travelers, including pci tests 72 hours before at so on top of quarantine restrictions. daily temperature checks daily test. 2, we understand that some sites have been sealed off in beijing, and several areas are locked down as well. so a lot of alarm. we already know that one case is one case to many and b j. they have a closed loop, a system in place. so that athletes and travelers separated from residence. but certainly this is causing a lot of alarm for officials there and they are wanting people to not travel during the festive period will. at 1st glance china's economy doesn't seem to be suffering much g. d p grew 8 point one percent last year. that's above the chinese
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government's own targets for growth. but that growth has declined in the last 3 months of 2021. and some economists are worried about the long term impacts of what china's government calls it's 0 coverage policy. lock dunsen factory shutdowns have slowed manufacturing and exports that starting to the pressure on supply chains around the world. ah, ok, let's bring in our guests. when shanghai we have done wine chief economist at the hang sang bank in china in barcelona, jeffrey lazarus is head of the health systems research group. the barcelona institute for global health and in nottingham. saved sign is director of the china institute at source university of london. welcome to the program. thank you very much. indeed for being with us. profess it's saying i want to start with you. china now has covert in its various forms. it's got the lunar new year holiday. millions of people are hoping to travel and the winter olympics in february knives seamless,
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described as a perfect storm for china. is it? well, i think the scale of the challenge for a chinese authorities will be very significant on the corner is different from various variance before. so the challenge will be significant, but there's 0 coverage policy will stay. i don't really see much of school, but a chinese government to change that policy unless she'd impedances so done. one giant strict approach worked in the early days, or there is an argument for suggesting that it was brought in a little bit later than it should have been. but nevertheless, it seemed to work the economy was of course, the only one to grow and a significant way in 2020. what kind of youth impact do you think the continuation of the corporate approach is going to have on china's economy? now? we're in the past 2 years, it is safe to say that a 0 coven strategy has don china mor good and bad. because we've been tracking the
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performance of 9 different industries in china, and it looks like the negative impact of the 0 covey to strategy was concentrated in catering, tourism, and part of the transportation that's related with weight tourism. but when it comes to industrial production, i recall it sure. and the several other type of high end services, the 0 corporate strategy actually had positive impact, especially for industrial production. and we knew in the beginning of the cold it china had contained this brad, the pen dynamic, and that jane china, more time to become really the manufacturing center for the world. and that's why the export has been so strong throughout the last 2 years. i do agree that this 0 quote, strategy has become more burden now. but in the past 2 years, it was successful. yeah. the manufacturing industry in china is being hit nevertheless, isn't it? we are seeing factories which are, are being prevented from going to full capacity because of stock shortages because
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of, of course, not just on the, on the call the but the delta variance as well. longer term. do you think that if this is a low to run and if not unchecked, then with the limits of the chinese authorities ability to, to contain it? do you think that this is going to have a knock on effect in terms of the supply chains around the world? while this, this answers actually, depending on how other emerging economies are doing. because if we have more corporate variance in the future, and you can see how different governments are dealing with only con, it's not a very well. so given what, given what we have now, probably the reconstruction and the top of the supply chain capacity in those other sporting countries would take one to 3 years. and 4, china 8 will benefit further from the 0 corridor strategy. if the rest,
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the world cannot get it together. so i don't think china is really being the disruptive power for the global stability of the supply chain. it is more of a stabilizing power at this point. just realize it was locked down. policies do seem to contain the virus, but they only if i understand it correctly work if you have all the and salary backups. once you actually remove those lockdown to be able to continue to control and contain the virus. do you think that china is in a position to be able to do that? i do think that china is in a position to do it, whether they do it or not is, is another question. so what we're talking about are when as restrictions are gradually removed is ensuring that people are safe so that they all have the high quality face masks they need, which china should certainly be able to provide. and that ventilation is improves
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ventilation and places of work in the manufacturing centers, but also in the homes, restaurants, bars, theaters and so on. so that's going to require some effort and making sure that the proper ventilation is in place and ensuring that people do always wear the high quality face masks. with only con, it's so transmissible that it's very difficult to maintain a 0 covert policy. we already see almost 1.5 percent of the population in lockdown, and that's only with around 2 or $300.00 reported cases a days. and there's probably even more cases that aren't being reported. and as only conte spreads, i think it will get harder and harder to maintain that kind of 0 coping policy. and steve, we were talking earlier about the number of areas that were being affected by the continuing presence of the virus. i mean, the industrial city of china is going to, i think it's, it's 3rd week. how are people in china reacting what you take on?
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well, ising older or d, majority with all the overwhelming majority of people in china support the serial cobit policy. this is what they have been told as a key policy to make china successful in the last 2 years. and many people do view it that way and most people don't understand how. ready omicron is different, but for the people in the cities where they are suffering from the lot dang, i think you may get. i bought a different sense of how people feel about the serial college policy. you will have a much more mixed response among people who are being affected, particularly those who are having difficulties getting supplies food, for example. just to be clear. who is the said though, that the vips the target? if you're like all their anger at the beginning, it towards the essential authorities in,
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in beijing and in china. are they talking about the, the way the local authorities are handling this? well, the way how the chinese government do with is so think, insistent, it is never the mistake of the central government in terms of all policy. it is always at the local level where the implementation of the policy is problematic. and therefore, any puppy anger should focus on that and essential government will fix that. not at the moment. i think that is still going to work in china. but if we see much more locked downs been put in place in chinese cities or across the country more generally, it will become much more difficult to maintain this particular narrative. jeffrey, the son of act vaccine, or i have read or that there is, there are some doubts of or it's, it's effectiveness, it's overall effectiveness against a certain elements of covered and do you think,
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given what you were saying about the, the additional things that the chinese government has to have in place in order to, to back up the lockdown in the lifting of lock downs. do you think that the, the vaccination process in china is going to be effective enough that it will help to contain the virus? should the locked owns be lifted? i'm not sure that vaccination will be enough. we've seen with the other vaccines. certainly in, in europe, for example, if pfizer madera, now astrazeneca johnson that it's protecting against severe symptoms which is good for individuals. good for the health systems are, doesn't become overwhelmed, but it's not really limiting so much the spread. and i think that's going to be the case as well, in china with the vaccines they're using. so when i mentioned where the additional measures that need to be in place, of course, in addition to to the vaccination, then why if china isn't able to contain the spread,
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as many other governments around the world haven't been able to do either. and as a result, more and more people are off work for prolonged periods of time. what do you think that's going to mean for china on economy because people are staying at home? obviously they're spending less well, there is a big compromise being made between what's the best and what's possible. so china now is trying to contain the pandemic in the way. busy probably the only way that it knows how and people can still remember vividly what happened in han, in early 2020, when most people were locked at home and the transportation was paralyzed. also on top of that, there was around hospitals. and that's the most the scary part. so now i'm living in shanghai, you know, for myself i sometimes will go to hospital for like the annual body checkup and things like that. even without cold it. there are not many cold cases here, even without that,
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the hospitals i went to are all very crowded. so just imagine with more covert cases, even if it's only con, that's not really as damaging as data on. there would be a run on hospitals and it will be out of control. so the government will try their best to contain this virus at whatever cause it takes, at least. and to the end of october, this year, after the 20th platinum professor showing they did the chinese government, it is encouraging people not to travel for the lunar new year previous time that it did find a study correctly. you're basically stop people traveling by stopping the trains. do you think it's going to do something as coney and is that this time around, or is it going to be a different approach? i, cindy, we're trying to are at lloyd stopping train. so business which will make people feel that is like, are effective, locked down the path of pop off the transport system. i think they will try to do
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everything they tend to contained. and these spread tool color tease, but discourage people from traveling. and he is going to be a very, very difficult, are called to make. and it's very difficult to make it completely effective for a lot of people in china dyllis, he only tom in the year when they have a chance to see their families. and therefore, just encouragement for them to not travel really is not going to be very effective in my view. what kind of options do you think are open to the, to the authorities of am simply asking people to stay at home. icing if you are seeing a significant increase in cases, then the likelihood is that they will actually suspend some of the train services so that people will have to stay where they are. i think the important essential
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importance of the serial co policy is so clearly and shined in the bureaucratic rule book at the moment that it will be very difficult for anybody at the operational level to do anything to suggest he or she is not in implementing the serial co, it policy with and flu season done while we were talking about earlier about the fact that said it's a run up to the 2022 winter olympics coming up. now this is a significant global public image event for, for china antennas, global image essentially embedded with that. but it's also embedded in with the way that it's humbling. covered if they did, the spread is not limited if it's not contained and what kind of impact you think that's going to have him china's global image when it's been so adamant that it's going to maintain a covered 0 policy. as in china is facing this dilemma because it has been closing
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a border for so long, although now it allows more athletes and relevant personnel to come in with athletes. it's do very close the country now compared to what we had 2 years ago. so the policy side, so the central government in china are making will have a different image from before because miscommunication happens in this situation. we have saying. busy i'll quote the words of some of my foreign friends, the accident of foreigners from china, because either they haven't been seeing their family for 2 years, they just have to. and the cost of that would be they need to leave their job in china, or they stay. but then they have to endure this long time of loneliness and the potential change of lisa policies and tax code. so things have become quite difficult for china. and when they're olympics is only a small part of the story, i know a to represent a image for china, kind of in a similar way as a 2008 summer olympics. but back then,
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it was such an open country and people had hope everything's in possible and now during coded. it has become so difficult for the ordinary people. and very unfortunately, most of the, of the cost have been borne by individual families liking. she can harm and the benefit is mostly towards industrial sectors, those people or, or entities that have capitals. so i don't know if it's possible for china to reverse its image in the international stage anytime soon. it just have to try other hard jiffy lazarus the in terms of the, the way that these decisions are made. it certainly seems to be from what the sun was saying. it's a top down approach. this is a day the policy of the central government and therefore it has to be enacted by, by local authorities in your expect is little what whitening it out around the world as it were. is that something that actually is effective because as dung once
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was saying there is an element of others, a potential for miscommunication and we have seen certain cases of that and in china, particularly over the last year, is that the most effective way to deal with this around the world, we've seen that that is not been the approach that's been working on the miscommunication, the lack of communication and the feeling from the population of not understanding why the government's making the decisions. they're making, the changes they make that are being communicated well. country after country, anywhere you love, communication has been a major problem. there hasn't been this collaborative approach in most cases towards addressing that man demick. but the current situation in china also reminds me of how certain infectious diseases were handled during the time of the former soviet union, for example, tuberculosis. so they're similar to the detention centers at china as if you tested positive for tv. you were taken out of your place of work taken away from your
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family and put into centers sometimes for as long as a year or even or even longer to address your tuberculosis. and that lead people to avoid being, being detected today. avoided getting tested and i'm afraid that might happen in china as well as i understand that there's some pretty draconian mass testing policies in place. but in general, the top down approaches are just not working. and i'm worried that it probably won't work in china as well. state saying we saw in the early days of the our break it will hang. one of the issues if i understand correctly was an element of miscommunication or interpretation of the situation on the ground compared to what decisions would have been made farther off the chain that local authorities were making decisions in an effort. if nothing else to either not do anything until the situation rectified itself or became more apparent or they did almost too much. and in fact,
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the lock downs were more severe than the central authorities would have wanted. why is there this a part at least a parent to outside was disconnect between the central control, the central authority and the local authorities on the ground. because of the way how the communist party system actually functions are on the one hand, the party controls everything from the very top. dang and business is something that shouldn't be himself has said make it very clear to party lease api thing and go call either needs to party. and then you have the contrary requirements that the core leader in particular ease and can never be wrong. and a party central also cannot be wrong. so you put the party leaders and officials at the provincial or local level in an impossible positioned that they have to get it right. and getting it right means delivering to the right we sampled
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. and if day i, he is strictly 2 directions from the above and that policy happened to be wrong. then they are the ones who are responsible for making that mistake. and likewise, if they use initiative and try something different and that doesn't work, they are left holding the caned as well. it is where we are in the way how the chinese system works. and then mine promot president says using thing is inspector to seek a 3rd term later on this year. the chinese commerce part is gonna hold it 20 of potty congress in the coming months. president, she arguably is pretty much certain that that's who's going to get his 3rd term. but at the same time, he does need to demonstrate that he has as he is running a stable country because stability is core to the tenants of the communist party in china. isn't it? while stability is certainly the key word for centro, central government,
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or economic work conference in december. and i can see from the economic perspective, that means china has to maintain levels growth. so for the governing capacity, i think china now is at a very stable stage as reflected. busy in its ability to contain the virus brad, its ability to maintain a very stable supply. and for a country of this size, i would say that you cannot have a better result by disrupting the economic stability. i don't think there is no cost for such a approach, but every country has to deal with its legacy system. and in the us, i do have a lot of friends fishing different problems like say goods shortage, which is not a problem at all in china. but they do those people in america,
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they do enjoy the freedom now to travel around the country or even outside a country. many people in china wanda, similar kind of freedom, but still people here respect authorities. they have automatically, it is kind of a collective thinking. they would like to maintain the current situation and do not want to depend on it got out of control. so in a way it is why the china and the most asian countries are able to have a relatively low infection race of college. but it would also be at the cost of jeopardizing individual freedoms jeopardizes were into the final seconds of the programs. if i can, i just ask you, and this is perhaps a bit unfair, but in a couple of sentences, given everything that we've heard today about the way that the decision making process is structured. do you think that china, given your experience, is going to be able to adapt the way that it handles this called crisis in order to
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be able to contain it? i hope they well, but we've seen the 0 covet policy fell in australia. we've seen challenges in countries like new zealand, so they're going to have to how we tighten up and have even more draconian, restrictive policies. but the way only con, transmits, i'll be very surprised if we don't start to see case number's going up in the coming weeks or months. another question is that if they will be transparent about their numbers, that can be that you know more challenging in terms of cases. but in terms of hospitalization, it would start to become apparent every well, i would say thanks to all our guest done, one jeffrey lazarus and steve sank on thank you to you too. for watching, you can see the program again any time. by visiting our website al jazeera dot com and for further discussion, go to our facebook page. that's facebook dot com, forward slash ha. inside story. you can also join the conversation on twitter. handle is at a inside story for me, rob patterson,
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