Moderator - World Affairs
For the economic aspect, not really. As long as China can keep up its domestic consumption of its own products and manufacturing, there won’t be that many problems. Unlike the US, China is much more centralized and can now endure and adapt to the worst of natural disasters due to its culture and sheer industrial and economic strength. If anything, the world needs China more than China needs them.Even if mRNA vaccines was 100% reduced risk of infection compared to unvaccinated, there is still a non-zero residual risk of getting infected, however low that might be.
Even if mRNA vaccines was 100% reduced risk of infection, this level of risk reduction lasts only 7-8 months before immunity level drops off, requiring boosters to maintain same efficacy.
So I think focusing on infections is a very big mistake. Outside of short-term clinical trials on a single variant, infections shouldn't be the metric for success in a real world filled with barriers to success like vaccine hesistancy, variants, zero booster shots, and supply shortages.
China would bankrupt itself if it kept on putting out fires everywhere if it only focused on infection. You cannot eliminate infections cases forever unless China wants to be a hermetically sealed country like North Korea. China must learn to live with COVID with high vaccination rate and regular boosters or risk physical isolation and recurring economic difficulties in long-run.
Also, I heard that Nanjing was one of the major centers of corruption prior to Xi’s anti corruption drive and is known for incompetent officials despite its economic stature. So this outbreak basically was a freak accident and would provide an opportunity for Xi to clean up that place.
In short, from an economic standpoint, they are fine as of now. I believe they will open up once a vaccine is sufficient enough to at least force the virus to abide by a timeline.