China’s COVID Policy & Integration
It would be remiss not to mention that as of March 21st, 2022, the Chinese Mainland has been experiencing a considerable spike in COVID-19 infections (although official figures are still considerably lower than in other countries throughout easter Asia and Europe), with numbers rising to their highest levels since the original outbreak in 2020, pushing some of the country’s major cities to enforce widespread, sporadic lockdowns and mass testing. The results of which are that regions across the country are in various stages of pandemic prevention control, with certain areas of cities of millions of people in lockdown overnight in the East (Shanghai), Northeast (Jilin), as other areas in the country, such as Western and Central regions (Chongqing, Sichuan), remain cautiously less restrictive at the time of writing.
China’s “zero COVID” policy has served it remarkably well in the past in terms of controlling and preventing the spread of COVID-19 domestically, relying on mass testing, contact tracing, isolating the infected, strict restrictions on international and domestic travel, and lockdowns of entire cities, which has helped China stamp out every outbreak so far.
However, thus far, the inconveniences and difficulties of such an approach for the past two years have yet to wield any indication of a policy adjustment, even if they may have been a factor in China’s slowing economic growth in the second half of 2021, there may come a point when the costs of such stringent controls outweigh the benefits. Its certainly still a lingering hope that such recent COVID-19 related issues will not be a major problem in a reopening the borders, as most of the world has opened up, while China remains closed.
Concluding Remarks and Moving Forward
Pandemic considerations aside, national initiatives connecting up the different regions in China (the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle, Liaoning Coastal Economic Belt) as well as more modern based investment in green and digital growth within these regions, means that the four major regions of China are to be more connected than ever moving forward. Collaborating on elements of national economic and societal importance, allows the traditionally less prosperous regions the opportunity to thrive.
With that being said, for prospective foreign investors looking towards the Chinese marketplace, depending on your company’s particular sector, investment timeline as well as a multitude of other considerations, extensive research is required to find the optimal area in the Chinese marketplace in which to foster your business, however these large projects will not only bring affluent opportunities for the Chinese marketplace but a requirement for Foreign investment, know-how and expertise in order to realize such lofty goals and to prosper.