Very little emerged from inspections of the alleged Chinese ground zero for the covid pandemic, but is anyone surprised? The Chinese authorities are experts at lying to their own people never mind the rest of the world. Whether China is to blame or not, we will probably never know - the Chinese government once pointed the finger at Spain as being the cause of the global outbreak - but what is clear is that China is far from out of the covid woods and it is having a huge effect on global trade. China is now grappling with flare-ups in a dozen regions linked to tourists, spurring officials to order millions to stay home, restrict inter-provincial travel and ramp up testing.
And this continues to hit the country’s industrial output, in particular the manufacturing of chips. Europe is running out of white goods, even car makers are struggling to keep up with demand because the Chinese are falling behind on production of goods that the Western world has become so dependent on.
I was talking to the former director of one of France’s largest global transport companies on Thursday night and she explained that the problem is not a shortage of trucks or ships, it’s the slowdown in manufacturing in China that is causing the shortage of goods in Europe. What with Russia controlling the gas and China the valuable chips perhaps Europe needs to reboot its manufacturing and energy model.