David Ng goes over several key indicators in China’s healthcare system to see how China’s public healthcare system holds up. With medical advances driving up healthcare expenditure and a fast-ageing people, the most populous nation of the world has got its work cut out.
Despite US efforts to reduce reliance on China and decouple from it, the process will not be easy, given China’s enormous economic influence. Even with countries such as Vietnam trying to take China’s place as the “world’s factory”, their capacity is limited. However, this does not mean that China’s position is assured, as other countries are noticing China’s penchant for using its economic might as a bargaining chip.
With the coronavirus affecting businesses and production industries worldwide, Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu finds out how companies and factories in China are ensuring that workers stay healthy and virus-free.
China’s Hubei province — most badly-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic — has pressed the reset button on its economy, becoming China’s first province to implement an economic revitalisation package following the pandemic. Although policy details are not yet released, academics interviewed predict that Hubei will receive more financial subsidies than any other province or city, and industries like auto manufacturing and infrastructure will benefit from industry support policies. Hubei’s revitalisation scheme will also give an idea of how the country’s yet-to-be-released economic stimulus package will look like. While help is on the way for Hubei, due to the enormous economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, making a fast and effective recovery is going to be a tall order.
A mask is not just a mask in times of a global health pandemic. Neither is humanitarian assistance simply that either. Zhu Ying traces the effect that mask politics is having on China’s efforts at redeeming its image abroad and on larger issues such as globalisation.
As the Covid-19 pandemic slows down in China, the panic-buying frenzy goes on. Chen Jing reports on people bulking up on supplies across China amid fears of a looming food shortage.
China is estimated to be making 200 million masks daily and may have too many mask-making factories in the near future. Chinese commentator Cai Enze envisages the likely scenario facing these enterprises scrambling to turn a quick profit out of mask manufacturing. Looking at the statistics, the world needs to better coordinate how these masks can reach pandemic-stricken countries in dire need of masks.
To help businesses get back on their feet, the Wuhan municipal government recently announced that it is raising 20 billion RMB to roll out a rescue package for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). On the ground, many companies find themselves in more dire straits now than when the city was under a complete lockdown, and business owners are generally not confident of surviving the present downturn.
Vincent Martin, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) representative in China and North Korea, shares his thoughts on the Chinese government’s efforts to limit the impact of Covid-19 on agriculture and food security in China. He remains sanguine that the country has enough wind in its sails to see it through this tough period and embark firmly on new beginnings.