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China somewhat eases zero-COVID restrictions

Luisa Vieira

The Graphic Truth: China's old vs. new zero-COVID

Change is afoot in China. Beijing’s zero-COVID containment strategy has been widely criticized at home and abroad, setting markets aflutter, and disrupting economies and supply chains worldwide. But now, just weeks after President Xi Jinping secured his norm-defying third term as CCP secretary-general, his new Politburo Standing Committee has issued changes to China’s zero-COVID policy. The news saw Hong Kong and mainland markets react positively, and online inbound flight bookings doubled overnight, but economists remain wary and are advising caution. We explore the differences between the two policies.

Podcast: The problem with China’s Zero COVID strategy

Listen: Xi Jinping's zero-COVID approach faces its toughest test to date with omicron. Why? Because China lacks mRNA jabs, and so few Chinese people have gotten COVID that overall protection is very low. A wave of lockdowns could disrupt the world's second-largest economy — just a month out from the Beijing Winter Olympics.

That could spell disaster for Beijing, Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, tells Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World podcast. If things get really bad, though, Huang believes China will pivot to living with the virus, especially as the cost of keeping zero COVID in the age of omicron becomes too high.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

No Progress After Russia-US Talks, Party is Over for Boris Johnson | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

No progress after US/NATO-Russia talks, Boris Johnson in trouble

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Kiev, Ukraine

First question, how is the crisis in this part of Europe developing?

Not good. There's been a week of intense diplomacy with talks in Geneva, and Brussels, and Vienna that produced virtually nothing. The Russian, sort of key demands are outrageously unrealistic. They know that is the case. The US is trying to engage them on somewhat different issues. We'll see if there's any prospect there, but it doesn't look too good. I think the likelihood is that we gradually will move into the phase of what the Russians call military technical measures, whatever that is.

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Belarus Human Rights Abuses Stacking Up | Beirut Blast One Year Later | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Belarus human rights abuses stacking up; Beirut blast one year later

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at the deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus, Delta variant woes, and Lebanon one year after the Beirut blast.

An Olympian refuses to return home to Belarus and an anti-Lukashenko activist has been found dead in Ukraine. What's going on?

Yeah. That anti-Lukashenko activist was found hanged in a park in Kiev. Once again, not exactly likely a suicide. These anti-Lukashenko activists have a way of turning up injured or dead. It's a horrible regime. Their friends are limited largely to the Russians. That's about it. The economic pressure is growing from Europe, from the United States, very coordinated. But the problem is a very hard to do much to Lukashenko when he has not only support of his military, but also the support of most of the workers in the country who aren't prepared to strike because they want to ensure they still have jobs. I expect this is going to continue, but human rights abuses are stacking up. It is nice to see that the Americans and the Europeans are coordinating policy as well as they have been.

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Ian Bremmer: US Coronavirus Response - Spin vs Reality | Politics of Reopening to Come | GZERO Media

Ian Bremmer: spin vs reality of COVID-19 response

More than 50% of the planet is presently locked in place. Impact on the global economy is extraordinary. Oil prices in the floor - when you shut down global supply and demand for the economy, you don't need a lot of energy. And when you have a limited amount of places to store that energy, further production is nearly worthless.

Here in the United States, what has been politically, reasonably functional so far is about to become much less so. Those of you watching the White House press conference every day, and if you watch cable news right afterwards, that's a complete shit show. It's made for television, political theater and drama. But the actual policies we've seen from the United States so far, have been reasonably coordinated.

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