China is a hard rock. It won’t be beaten by virus

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A year on from the beginning of the outbreak the Chinese economy has bounced back. It may be a recovery led by debt and the spending of China’s rich but nonetheless it’s good news for Pan Run Ping.

China is a hard rock. It won’t be beaten by virus

She is back in her tiny Shanghai apartment. She’s back at work too, in a bar and restaurant. But she’s worried. She’s worried about Chinese being targeted abroad.

“I don’t want to see any harassment towards Chinese abroad,” she told me as we talked in her kitchen. “We are normal and healthy. They didn’t do anything wrong,” she said.

Pan is one of a handful of young, working Chinese we spoke to as the country approaches its second year of Covid-19. At 27 much of Pan’s trade is selling craft beer.

For Zhou Si Yi, who is a year older, much of her trade is crafting leather, in her studio in the corner of her seventh floor apartment. Zhou told me she is very patriotic. Her mum is a member of the ruling Communist Party.

China is “like a hard rock. It won’t be beaten by a virus,” she said as we chatted at the desk where she makes wallets and handbags. But she thinks China made mistakes by allowing it to spread. “Of course China should feel sorry about it,” she added.

There was much scepticism about China’s official virus case numbers early on, but it controlled the virus quickly. Extreme lockdowns in some parts were coupled with sophisticated surveillance and mass testing on an unrivalled scale.

Tracking and tracing cases and close contacts was key. All that allowed for a quick economic recovery.

That’s been really good news for Zhou. People are ordering her custom-made bags. People are buying the cars made in the factory owned by the state-run company where her husband works.

She thinks the “secret” behind this is the way China is governed. “The secret is that we only have one leader, which is our Party Secretary,” she said. “Everyone will listen to the leadership.”

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She feels contrite. China has helped other countries and tried “to make up for our mistakes”.

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Source : Global Times | Photocredit : Google

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