tv Ros Atkins On... Chinas... BBC News January 23, 2022 10:45pm-11:01pm GMT
for the wider economy as a whole. the yorkshire post reports that the bigger— the yorkshire post reports that the bigger cities, birmingham, london as well, not_ bigger cities, birmingham, london as well, notjust the midlands bigger cities, birmingham, london as well, not just the midlands and the north, _ well, not just the midlands and the north, which have had the biggest impact _ north, which have had the biggest impact. low income places haven't quite _ impact. low income places haven't quite been — impact. low income places haven't quite been hit so hard. i suspect, and this_ quite been hit so hard. i suspect, and this is— quite been hit so hard. i suspect, and this isjust my guess, the inspiration _ and this isjust my guess, the inspiration for this might be people buying _ inspiration for this might be people buying essential goods but not luxuries. — buying essential goods but not luxuries, and that is why the city centres — luxuries, and that is why the city centres with the biggest shops, the clothes _ centres with the biggest shops, the clothes shops, where you go for fund to some _ clothes shops, where you go for fund to some extent, they have had the impact _
to some extent, they have had the impact the — to some extent, they have had the impact. the big cities across the country. — impact. the big cities across the country, including london, and certainly— country, including london, and certainly including those in yorkshire and the midlands, really hard hit _ yorkshire and the midlands, really hard hit by— yorkshire and the midlands, really hard hit by the pandemic, and the damagem — hard hit by the pandemic, and the damaue... hard hit by the pandemic, and the damage- - -— damage... some people think the andemic damage... some people think the pandemic is _ damage... some people think the pandemic is over _ damage... some people think the pandemic is over to _ damage... some people think the pandemic is over to some - damage... some people think the pandemic is over to some extent, j pandemic is over to some extent, maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but the economic damage will be with us for a long time. economic damage will be with us for a long time-— a long time. many more reports will oint to a long time. many more reports will point to awful _ a long time. many more reports will point to awful statistics _ a long time. many more reports will point to awful statistics like - a long time. many more reports will point to awful statistics like that. i point to awful statistics like that. the front page of the ft, henry, tell us why the new zealand prime ministerjacinda arden in there. she has postponed her wedding because new zealand is introducing more coronavirus restrictions which rule it out. two parallels you could draw, one would be, look at the new zealand prime minister sticking to the rules while we discuss whether the rules while we discuss whether the british prime minister did. the other way of looking at it, in britain we are emerging after plan b
ends this week, into unrestrained life. �* . . . life. and new zealand, which ractised life. and new zealand, which practised a — life. and new zealand, which practised a very _ life. and new zealand, which practised a very different - life. and new zealand, which - practised a very different approach to covid, _ practised a very different approach to covid, heading into a period of deeper— to covid, heading into a period of deeper restrictions. take to covid, heading into a period of deeper restrictions.— to covid, heading into a period of deeper restrictions. take your pick of national parallels. _ deeper restrictions. take your pick of national parallels. he _ deeper restrictions. take your pick of national parallels. he makes . deeper restrictions. take your pick of national parallels. he makes a i of national parallels. he makes a very good point, but i suspect a lot of people will have an emotional response to this and say, if she is obeying the rules, our prime minister didn't. such is life, she said, noting that thousands of new zealanders have had far more devastating disruption. thank you both. in europe, there are millions of cases of covid every week. in china, there are very few. and china's commitment to its zero covid strategy remains as strong as ever.
translation: china's overall situation remains stable - and regional clusters of locally transmitted cases can be effectively controlled within a short period of time. and this is what effective control means in practice. they discovered three asymptomatic cases — three — and that is led, within a very short period of time to a city with overi million people being shutdown. zero covid means lockdowns. it means testing on a huge scale. it means disinfecting public transport ahead of a busy travel season. it means quarantine camps for those suspected of having covid. as well as that, officials are warning against ordering things from overseas. they believe omicron may have arrived in beijing via infected mailfrom canada. there is even a hamster cull in hong kong after cases were traced to a pet shop. the virus may have first been identified in china but, as you can see, it very much wants
to keep it out now — and so far, largely, it has. there have beenjust over 100,000 cases recorded in china since the start of the pandemic, almost two years ago. compare that to the us and the uk, where there have been tens of millions. and china's low case numbers have meant a low official death toll, too. here, you can see china compared with the uk and us with the us heading towards a million deaths, china is in the low thousands. in fact, there hasn't been a covid death in china for months and supporters of zero covid say that that makes the case. they also point to the chinese economy. official data shows that china's gdp grew by over 8% last year — that exceeded most expectations. there are, though, caveats. my colleague mariko 0i explains. now, china's strict zero covid policy has meant that some major cities started to go back into lockdown from last month, due to the omicron variant, and we have yet to see the full
impact of that. for now, though, china believes its zero covid strategy has worked, for the economy and for public health. but sooner, rather than later, it faces a decision — how long to stick with zero covid? and it may have its hand forced. we know omicron is highly transmissible and variants pose a challenge to zero covid policies. we've seen that in australia. the arrival of the delta variant forced the government to change tack. prime minister scott morrison abandoned zero covid last year, saying that australia would now live with the virus. or there's new zealand. while visiting from overseas remains limited, prime ministerjacinda ardern did say this last october. elimination was important because we did not have vaccines. now, we do. so we can begin to change the way we do things.
vaccines. they are the route out of zero covid. vaccinate the population, then ease restrictions — that's the theory. and according to chinese government health officials, over 1.2 billion people in china have been vaccinated — that's nearly 90% of the population. we also know two of china's vaccines, sinopharm and sinovac have been approved for emergency use by the who, but there's an issue. when it comes to omicron, the reality is that china will be still reliant on its zero covid strategy. neither sinopharm or sinovac do give a high degree of support against the omicron or against the delta strains, of course, which we are still worried about. that's right. there is evidence that china's vaccines are not as effective as western vaccines, like moderna and pfizer. a top chinese official admitted last april that its vaccines don't have very high rates of protection. now, the same official later said he had been misinterpreted. but lynette ong from the university of toronto says this issue is real.
so already, we have seen a number of reasons why ending zero covid isn't easy for china. it has succeeded in minimising covid deaths but it also does not want to admit the limitations of its vaccines and, in turn, those limitations mean its population is less protected. as well as that, because cases are low, china has a population without any natural immunity from prior infection. and because of all of these reasons — and others, too — a recent study by china's center for disease control concluded this, that if western strategies were adopted, it: and so for now, keeping covid out remains a priority for china.
and there are two other factors that are relevant to this. the first — well, that's the winter olympics, in beijing this february. china does not want any covid disruptions during this moment on the world stage, so foreign spectators are barred, tickets are not being sold, and such measures appear to be popular. translation: as bei'ing is china's capital city,h the prevention measures here are definitely a bit stricter. tickets not being sold is a way of epidemic prevention, so i support it. the other key event this year is the national party congress in october. it's held every five years — these pictures are from the last one in 2017. and this congress decides the future leadership of the chinese communist party and, in turn, the leadership of china. now, president xi jinping is already the most powerful chinese ruler since chairman mao. but in 2018, he abolished presidential term limits and this autumn, we are expecting him to be confirmed for a third term.
that looks all but certain. but it remains a politically sensitive moment and president xi does not want rising covid cases to complicate that. he has, though, talked of life beyond covid. translation: we must do everything necessary to clear the shadow - of the pandemic and boost economic and social recovery and development so that the sunshine of hope may light up the future of humanity. and that is the rub — how to move clear of "the shadow of the pandemic" when that will involve letting the virus in with all of the uncertainty that comes with that. the eurasia group cannot see that decision being taken in the short—term. in a recent report, it concludes: and as we consider this, bear in mind what the world health organisation recently said about the uk. i'm saying i can see where the end is, i can see light at the end of the tunnel, but i really do anticipate, right throughout
the world, a bumpyjourney ahead during 2022. "light at the end of the tunnel," says the who. president xi talked of "the sunshine of hope". but china and the west are in two quite different places. the west has lost many more people but it's edging towards a life not dominated by the management of this virus. china, with its strict lockdowns and travel restrictions, is not. and for all the political, pr and public health reasons we've considered, it's unlikely to make that move anytime soon. meant dried start to january, only seeing half the rainfall we would
normally see by this stage. not a great deal of rain this week, certainly not for england and wales, we might see more midweek across scotland, with low pressure approaching. but for the meantime, the high pressure still hanging on towards the south, a weather front towards the south, a weather front to the north has given 80 millimetres of rain on sunday, sinking further southwards on monday, but coming into high pressure it is a weak affair. where we have had the cloud break through the night, patchy frost and fog to watch for, some poor visibility, but not widespread. it will take time to clear at this time of year. and then some brightness and sunshine in eastern scotland, perhaps north east england, with thin cloud elsewhere, gloomy in some areas and cold. the weather front to the north will weaken as it heads towards the moray
firth, with some trying developing to the north, but a fairly weak affair for the to the north, but a fairly weak affairfor the most to the north, but a fairly weak affair for the most part. to the north, but a fairly weak affairfor the most part. it to the north, but a fairly weak affair for the most part. it starts to push northwards through monday night and into tuesday. through the coming night, pretty chilly where we get the cloud breaks, but on the whole a lot of cloud. some pockets of fog on tuesday, slow to clear away, but where they do, we will see sunshine. again fairly limited, they will be a lot of cloud and it will feel cold under the cloud, even without much of agrees. some cloudy skies and patchy rain to the north and west. high pressure still close by on tuesday. by midweek, the area of low pressure rolling in, where we will see some rainfall in scotland in particular. and northern ireland as the weather front comes south. perhaps a bit of brightness ahead of it. the south—westerly wind, the atlantic breeze picked up the temperatures and perhaps turns on
welcome to newsday, reporting live from singapore. i'm mariko oi. the headlines: the us says it's too soon to impose sanctions against russia for its hostile stance towards ukraine. it comes as a former ukrainian mp denies british claims he could be installed by moscow as head of a puppet government, but says his country needs new leadership. tonga's government warns there's a long road to recovery, eight days since it was devastated by a volcanic eruption and tsunami. after a british mp says she was told she was being sacked from government in part because of her muslim faith, two senior figures in the cabinet call for a full investigation.