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Western companies in Shanghai are facing a “logistical nightmare,” according to a European business group, as they begin to reopen following a city-wide lockdown.

According to the European Union Chamber of Commerce, the problems are expected to last for several more weeks. Chinese officials announced on Friday that they will assist more than 600 businesses in the major financial centre in resuming operations.

It comes after business groups in the United Kingdom and the United States said their members had been affected by Covid measures in China.

Although some businesses have resumed operations in Shanghai by keeping their employees on-site, “many businesses continue to face labour shortages and logistical challenges,” according to Bettina Schoen-Behanzin, vice president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China and head of the Shanghai chapter.

“We estimate that due to the ongoing lockdowns, less than 30% of their workforce is eligible to go to work, so there’s a huge gap between policy and reality,” she added in a statement on Thursday.

Other business organisations representing companies in the United Kingdom and the United States have expressed concern about the impact of lockdowns in Shanghai and other Chinese cities.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai also stated on Thursday that officials were still coordinating the movement of workers and goods across Chinese provinces.

Meanwhile, according to a survey released on Wednesday by the British Chamber of Commerce in China, UK companies in China expect profits to fall this year as a result of local Covid restrictions.

More than two-thirds of the more than 200 businesses polled predicted lower revenue this year. Almost half of them said that the restrictions had hampered their ability to recruit and retain foreign workers.

Covid infections spiked earlier this year in Shanghai, a financial, manufacturing, and shipping hub. Authorities shut it down in late March for mass testing.

Tesla’s ‘giga factory’ in the city has recently resumed production after restrictions were eased.

Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, admitted on Wednesday that “we did lose a lot of important days of production.”

The Shanghai factories of German automaker Volkswagen (VW) and Apple iPhone maker Pegatron, on the other hand, remain closed.

VW said it was assessing the “feasibility” of resuming Shanghai operations.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Pegatron told the BBC that it was “waiting for further instruction from local government.”

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U.S. president Joe Biden talked with his Chinese partner Xi Jinping on Wednesday evening (Washington time), the principal call between the two chiefs since Mr. Biden accepted office on January 20.

Mr. Biden featured worries about Beijing’s monetary practices, its basic liberties record and “confident activities in the district” while asserting his need of protecting a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” the White House said in a readout of the call.

“President Biden confirmed his needs of ensuring the American individuals’ security, thriving, wellbeing, and lifestyle, and saving a free and open Indo-Pacific. President Biden underscored his key worries about Beijing’s coercive and out of line financial practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, denials of basic freedoms in Xinjiang, and progressively decisive activities in the area, including toward Taiwan,” the White House said.

In any case, the Biden organization desires to expand on the Trump organization’s fortifying of the Quad (the Indo-Pacific gathering of nations containing India, the U.S., Australia and Japan), U.S. Public Security Adviser Jake Sullivan as of late said.

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The Asian superpower of China has strongly denounced the European Union resolution against the crackdown launched against Hong Kong democratic activists by the Communist Country.

The Communist China has termed the resolution as an interference.

The resolution has been passed by the European Union Parliament. It has demanded sanctions against certain Chinese and Hong Kong officials.

Hong Kong was under the control of the UK. The region, which is situated close to China, was recently handed over to China.

Since the transfer of the territory, China has been slowly injecting its political thought into the region, which inherited a liberal political thought process from its former master.

It is not clear at this moment whether the issue will affect the relation between China and the European Union.

It is less likely China take up a tough retaliatory action against the European Union.

The EU and China maintain a deep economic tie. In that sense, both depend on each other.    

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The Asian country of China has launched a severe crackdown in the embattled territory of Hong Kong.

As many as 53 people have been booked in connection with the crackdown launched in the region by the Chinese government.

Those booked in connection with the crackdown includes journalists, activists, opposition leaders, lawmakers, workers and students.

The action has been carried out with the support of the National Security Law, which were imposed over the territory by the Chinese government.

Hong Kong is at present in the state of a severe political turmoil. The city was under the control of the United Kingdom. Hong Kong was handed over to China by the UK several years. At the time of handing over, the country reached an agreement with China. In the agreement, China assured that it would not alter the political framework of the territory which the region acquired from its colonial master.

The recent development indicates that the communist country has stepped back from the assurance it made at the time the territory was handed over to it by the UK.

Hong Kong is technically a part of China. Yet, it is different. It is ruled by a one country two governments formula. The people in Hong Kong are not open to the communist culture shared by the people in the Chinese mainland.

The west, particularly the UK, has raised its voice against the unwelcoming attitude towards the region by China.     

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The European Union has demanded the immediate release of citizen journalist Zhang Zhan, who was jailed by China as his report regarding the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan irritated the Chinese government.

Apart from the journalist, the world’s most powerful economic union has sought the release of several reporters, lawyers and human right activists.

Ms. Zhang is the first journalist who has reported about the outbreak in Wuhan. She is a very fearless journalist.

A top EU official has revealed that the union has received a credible report to assume that the journalist has been subjected to torture and ill-treatment during the Chinese official custody.

The EU has recently reached a trade agreement with China. China considers the EU as an option to overcome the damage made by the US’ trade war. Considering the said realities, the EU’s suggestion is likely to be taken seriously by the Chinese government.

At this moment, it is not easy for China to damage its relation with the EU, which is set to become one of the main trading partners of the communist country.

It is expected that the western world will increase its pressure over China to make the country more democratic in nature.

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In a sensitive development concerning the global politics, a human rights organisation has exposed a secretive agreement reached between Switzerland and China in connection with immigration.

The agreement offers Chinese security forces a free run in Switzerland, as per the report developed by the organisation.

The agreement, which were reached for five years, is supposed to end soon.

The organisation has predicted the possibility for the extension of the agreement.

Actually, it is not unusual. Switzerland has similar agreements with several other countries. These agreements attempt to make sure no foreign national stay illegally in Switzerland.

The one related to China empowers Chinese forces to interview illegal immigrants from the Asian country.

As per the opinion of the human rights organisation, what makes the Swiz agreement with China unusual is the fact that unlike other agreements which hand power to immigration officials this agreement offers power to foreign security forces.

The issue is very sensitive in nature. The organisation which has brought the issue to spotlight also is aware of the sensitive nature of the topic. It has presented the necessary evidences to back the allegation which it has levelled against Switzerland and China.

It is high time to erase the dark clouds around the questionable intrusion of China into Europe.

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Hong Kong is a part of China now. Earlier, it was a region controlled by the United Kingdom. It was the west which turned the region a true trade hub.

In the recent past, the trade hub was handed over to China. The process was backed by an agreement Beijing reached with London. The agreement assured that China would protect the democratic values and practices the hub inherited from the UK.

Unfortunately, since the transfer of the region from the UK to China, the latter has been systematically dismantling every thing the region inherited, including the democratic values and practices.

The action, naturally, has received serious resistance. The city has witnessed numerous protests against China’s aggression.

As part of China’s strategy, it has recently imposed some laws to suppress those who have voiced their disagreement against the Chinese action.

China last week dismissed the law-making body of Hong Kong.

It seems that the Hong Kong issue has struck a peak point. The west, especially the United Kingdom and the United States, has openly criticised the Chinese policy. It has sent an ultimatum to the Communist Country of China to withdraw its anti-democratic actions.

It is yet to be seen how the things will evolve. China has not yet commented about the new development.       

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China, using a law it recently imposed to curb the strength of the pro-democracy movement, has arrested Hong Kong business tycoon Jimmy Lai.

The businessman, who heads a powerful media organisation based in Hong Kong, has been booked on the charge of collusion with foreign forces.

With the arrest, the biggest fear of Hong Kongers has become reality. At the time of the introduction of the controversial law, the biggest fear of people of Hong Kong was that the law would be misused to stifle the rights assured to the people at the time the region was handed over to China by the United Kingdom.

Mr. Lai is a 71-year-old businessman. He holds both Hong Kong and UK citizenships. He is a very powerful person in the region. He is a lead pro-democracy activist.

Anyway, the businessman has been granted bail.

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Most European countries are aware about the fact that there is ground in the US’ allegation that China has suppressed certain information about the Covid-19 outbreak – which originated in the Chinese state of Wuhan few months back.

Still, unlike the North American country of the United States of America which has taken an aggressive stand against the Asian country, most European countries, it seems, has decided to take a lenient stand in the issue.

Recently, China reversed the total death toll due to the virus outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan, making the figure almost double the previous figure.

Nonetheless, China has not yet admitted that some mistakes have occurred due to the way they have handled the outbreak. The country has denied all report which indicate a systematic cover-up.

The latest reversal of the figure has been justified using the argument that several deaths that have happened outside the hospitals in the region have failed to enter the initial report due to various reasons.

At present, the Europe and the US stand in two different plains over whether China should be made liable to the loss the world has suffered due to its attitude of cover-up.

It may not take long before these two powerful factions come in a same plane to decide the fate of the world’s most populated country.


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Indirectly erecting a strong wall against the possible acquisition of EU companies by Chinese companies unfairly misusing the opportunity emerged due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the European Union has decided to support European companies to prevent the takeover of them by foreigners especially China.

There are rumours that certain Chinese state-owned companies may step in to acquire certain strategically important European companies.

From the new decision, it can be assumed that the EU is well aware of this plan and is ready to go any extend to derail the wicked strategy.

Meanwhile, an EU official, who is aware about the development, has termed, in a statement given to an International media, the EU plan as a last resort strategy.

It is clear that the EU is very vigilant. Though the union has not mentioned clear why they have created this plan, when the plan is analysed closely it can be identified clearly that it is aimed to prevent the possible takeover of EU companies by Chinese state-owned companies.

The EU is expected to throw its protective blanket over all vulnerable companies, which they fell are strategically important.

It is yet to be seen how China will react to this move.


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