News from authoritarian China shows that the communist nation's zero-tolerance approach to the coronavirus has failed, and around 51 million people are currently under lockdown due to the spread of the post-vaccine omicron variant of COVID-19.
It should be noted that China is one of the world's most vaccinated countries on the planet. The latest reports stated that over 88 percent of the country is fully vaccinated, and around 40 percent had received booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccines. It also leads the world in doses administered with nearly 3.2 billion doses given.
On Tuesday, March 15, the country reported a record high of 5,000 new COVID-19 cases with the omicron variant, mostly in the northeastern province of Jilin. Following this, all 24 million residents of the province were placed under lockdown.
This is the first time the communist nation has placed an entire province under lockdown since early 2020, when Hubei province in central China, home to Wuhan, was shut down.
In Jilin, residents are banned from moving around outside. Anybody that wants to be given the right to leave the province must apply for a permit with the police.
The lockdown order in Jilin comes after the 17.5 million residents of the southern city of Shenzhen were placed under lockdown on Sunday, March 13, which led to the suspension of all public transport services, including buses and subways.
Shenzhen is also notable for being a manufacturing and shipping hub. The city alone accounts for around 11 percent of China's economy and the province of Guangdong, where the city is located, accounts for nearly a quarter of the country's shipping.
Several other cities all over China were placed under lockdown, including Langfang, which borders Beijing to the south and east, and Dongguan in the southern province of Guangdong.
Businesses affected by the lockdowns all over the country were told to either shutter completely or have their employees work from home, with exceptions given to essential services like food production, utilities and other necessities. (Related: China stocks on a DOWNHILL trend as COVID cases rise.)
The mass closure of businesses all over the country has stoked fears in economic analysts that the ongoing supply chain crisis is about to get worse.
Taiwanese electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn, which has a massive factory in Shenzhen that employs over 350,000 people, announced on Monday, March 14, its compliance with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) directive to shut down. Foxconn said it would resume production on the advice of the local government.
The Shenzhen factory manufactures all kinds of electronics, from Apple iPhones to Amazon Echo and Alexa devices to smart televisions and even vehicles. Disruptions to the production and export of goods coming out of this factory alone could be enough to induce shortages and further drive up inflation.
Toyota and Volkswagen, which have factories in the city of Changchun in Jilin, also both complied with CCP orders and completely halted production of their vehicles and components in the city.
Chang Shu, chief Asia economist for Bloomberg, warned that the "forceful action" the CCP is using to contain COVID-19 will result in a severe hit to the country's production and manufacturing output.
"Previous steps to contain virus flare ups left manufacturing unscathed for the most part," said Chang. "This lockdown will hit output in key industries such as tech and machinery that feed into global supply chains."
"Given that China is a major global manufacturing hub and one of the most important links in global supply chains, the country's COVID policy can have notable spillovers to its trading partners' activity and the global economy," said Tuuli McCully, head of Asia-Pacific economics at financial company Scotiabank.
"The outbreaks impose downside risk to China's economy at least in the next few months," noted Zhang Zhiwei, chief economist for Pinpoint Asset Management. "A China slowdown would exacerbate the risk of stagflation and global supply chain problems."
Learn more about the recent COVID outbreak in China at Pandemic.news.
Watch this episode of "Brighteon Conversations" as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, talks to Dr. Yan Li-Meng about the threat China's biological warfare programs pose to the world.