lørdag 10. oktober 2020

China may win the war against coronavirus but lose the battle of the narrative

The people thronged on the Bund, Shanghai’s iconic waterfront; drone shots of bumper to bumper traffic jams on major national highways stretching kilometres; and shoppers packed the Taikoo Li Sanlitun, a Beijing downtown complex owned by Swire Properties, a Hong Kong developer.

Those sample images of economic activities and mass migrations of people are typically associated with China’s Golden Week holiday, which is built around the October 1 National Day celebrations and coincides with the Mid-Autumn Festival this year, which extended the break to eight days from the usual seven. But those images have special significance this time as this is the first major holiday since the country has brought the coronavirus pandemicunder control.

As the holiday ended on Thursday, tourism officials estimated 637 million domestic trips had been made during the holiday and the tourists’ spending was tallied at 466.56 billion yuan (US$68 billion), higher than expectations as officials previously forecast 550 million trips.