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China Focus: Cities recovering as dynamic zero-COVID approach mitigates virus impact

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-06-20 17:28
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Employees work at an assembly line of FAW Jiefang truck in Changchun, Northeast China's Jilin province, June 15, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING -- Life and work are getting back to normal in China, as it has brought the COVID-19 virus transmission under control after battling the latest flare-ups in cities including the political and economic hubs of Beijing and Shanghai over the past months.

The existing dynamic zero-COVID approach has been proven effective in mitigating the impact of the coronavirus on economic and social development to the greatest extent.

As the new COVID-19 cases in the Chinese capital dropped to a single-digit over the weekend, Beijing's subway resumed full operation on Sunday, a sign believed by business owners that the resurgence is brought under control, and the hard time will soon be over.

The city's renovation contractors are eager to embrace a business boom. The renovation market took a hit as most indoor decorations have been on and off since the epidemic resurgence in April.

Manufacturing enterprises across China have sped up operation resumption since May, and the industrial economy has shown signs of stabilizing, said Tao Qing, an official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Indicators like electricity consumption and employment in many regions back up Tao's words.

Monitoring revealed that all the 50 key enterprises in Jilin province have resumed operation, while 85 percent of Shanghai's automobile companies have reopened.

"The decline of total retail sales of consumer goods was greatly eased in May. With the gradual return to normal life, consumption recovery will pick up the pace," said Fu Linghui, spokesperson for the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Thanks to sustained policy support, China's domestic vehicle market became brisk in May with production and sales up 59.7 percent and 57.6 percent, respectively, from a month earlier, boosting related service consumption such as car maintenance and repair.

During the "618" festival, a large online shopping event held in the run-up to June 18, the value of orders on totaled 379.3 billion yuan (about $57 billion), up from 343.8 billion yuan in the same period last year, latest data showed.

Previously closed scenic spots and parks have also been reopened, with measures such as traffic restrictions and real-name appointments.

Beijing and Shanghai have strengthened their capabilities to carry out science-based and targeted epidemic prevention measures to facilitate the resumption of work and production.

Beijing organized closed-loop production management training for more than 30,000 participants from over 3,000 enterprises, guiding them to keep core posts operational.

China's economy has gradually emerged from the shadow of COVID-19, with major indexes showing a better performance in May.

The foreign trade went up 8.3 percent, FDI expanded 17.3 percent year-on-year in the period from January to May, while investment from the Republic of Korea, the United States, and Germany climbed by 52.8 percent, 27.1 percent, and 21.4 percent respectively, NBS data showed.

"These specific figures reflect foreign investors' genuine interest in investing in China and confidence in China's socio-economic development," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters at a press conference.

Under the dynamic zero-COVID approach, China does not seek to pursue zero infections. Rather it requires quick, precise measures to cut transmission of the virus in the shortest possible time once an infection is detected to prevent it from spreading to other areas.

While the average life expectancy in some developed countries declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, China's average life expectancy has steadily gone up in recent years.

"It is clear evidence that effective COVID response provides a good foundation for socio-economic development and an important condition for fostering a favorable business environment," Wang noted.

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