Real estate, the prime economic driver, is under pressure in the COVID-19 crisis. Efforts to rescue the industry again highlight interest divisions between central planners, big on the long term, and local officials trapped in the short.
Jolted into action by COVID-19, the power of industrial innovation is visible to Beijing, but as fiscal challenges mount, can it be funded?
China dispatched a COVID-19 medical aid team to Italy on 17 March. It carried TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) granules for 10,000 people, to prevent and treat mild cases. Cow-bezoar bolus (gallstones and other organic matter produced by cows) was also taken to ‘resurrect’ severe cases, reported Global Times.
Transport and labour bottlenecks are holding up the sugarcane harvest in Yunnan. The resulting lag in crushing is combining with desert locust outbreaks in sugar producing regions of India and Pakistan to roil markets and put pressure on global and domestic sugar prices.
Affording relief from the virus-roiled landscape was the Munich Security Conference. The West, MSC Association chair Wolfgang Ischinger had explained, is becoming less ‘Western’; and the world is less ‘Western’ than it once was.
Many localities took a breather this week, with falls in reported new infections and winding down of some emergency arrangements. Concern over structural damage to foreign trade is growing.
Xi Jinping has a new mission this week: spring planting. Industry may rebound slowly from COVID-19, but if grain is not planted, this year’s harvest will be crippled.