Xinhua Commentary: China's anti-COVID measures safeguard rather than disrupt global supply
BEIJING, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Assertions by some Western media that China's zero-COVID policy is straining global supply chains are both illogical and irresponsible.
Had it not been for China's proactive COVID-19 containment strategy, shortages of goods would have probably nudged up retail prices in Walmart and Tesco stores across the world, impeded the shaky global economic recovery and further strained the already weakened global supply chains.
As the world's leading manufacturing hub and one of the largest global providers of commodities and consumer goods, China has adhered to rapid and science-based COVID-19 containment measures, which have proved to be effective.
These actions, which include swift response, mass screening and large-scale vaccination, not only prevented a substantial number of domestic fatalities but also paved the way for the rapid resumption of normal production and daily life after epidemic resurgences were brought under control.
While some ports and factories were unavoidably affected by temporary restrictions due to the painstaking virus containment efforts, industries in the world's second-largest economy have largely remained scatheless through recent outbreaks.
As soon as local outbreaks waned, manufacturers from Shenzhen to Shanghai quickly regained vigor and resumed delivering products such as iPhones and Teslas to consumers worldwide.
Thanks to the resumption of normalcy, China, the world's largest goods trading nation, has continued to ensure robust exports through the pandemic.
According to the latest data, during the first half of this year, China's foreign trade of goods expanded by 9.4 percent to nearly 3 trillion U.S. dollars despite the pandemic continuing to weigh on global trade.
Product shortages would have impacted the supply of essentials and worsened the surging inflation that the West is suffering from had there not been a constant flow of supplies from China. To this extent, China's anti-COVID policy is safeguarding global supply chains rather than causing disruptions.
As stated in a Bloomberg article titled "Why the World Needs China's COVID-Zero Policy," if global consumers and businesses want to continue to buy goods made in China without having to endure shortages and further price hikes, they should want China to stick with its zero-COVID policy.
"Yet as the past two years have demonstrated, temporary and isolated shutdowns don't mean manufacturers and exporters stop working and goods don't get onto ships," the article reads, noting that "the longer China sticks with COVID zero, the better it'll be for the rest of the world."
The causes of the current global supply chain crisis are complex and China should not be scapegoated. The lingering pandemic, geopolitical conflicts and the U.S. arbitrary economic sanctions have all cast a shadow over global trade. In recent years, the surging anti-globalization sentiments and rise of protectionism have also created an array of obstacles to global trade, leading to mounting uncertainty and complexity in global supply chains.
At a time when the world is in dire need of reassurance, false accusations against China will do no good in combating global trade headwinds or sustaining supply chain resilience.