Typically, China’s economy comes to a standstill during the annual Chinese New Year, but not in 2021, explains business analyst Shaun Rein to CNBCTV. GovermentalCovid-19 restrictions make it tough for migrant workers to return home, and double salaries at the factories might encourage them to continue working during the festival. Other industries like travel and leisure might suffer, though.
A hidden problem in China are the 70 million children in the countryside, left behind by their migrant parents who left to work elsewhere in de big cities, says author Zhang Lijia in an interview with the Borgen Project. Many drop out of school and those who remain face dropping quality of their education. Zhang Lijia is currently working on a book on left-behind children (LBC’s).
Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao interviews author and journalist Yuan Ling after he got into quarantine in his home province Shaanxi. “The virus has already had a deeper impact on the people than even the  Sichuan earthquake [that killed 69,000],” Yuan Ling tells Ian Johnson on the phone, for the New York Review of Books.
While messages from the coronavirus are mixed, to put it mildly, the current economic crash course might only be over by April/May, in the most optimistic scenario. Numbers of infected people and deaths by COVID-19 still vary to much to support any scenario at this stage, while it is also unclear whether the rest of the world can contain the virus.
Footage from metro subways still show empty carriages, as the central government tries to encouraged migrant workers to return to their workplaces, local governments – including the big cities – advise returning migrants to put themselves in a social quarantine for two weeks to be sure they do not carry the virus. The dilemma is obvious: different government make different choices when it come to prevent major economic damage or keeping their cities save from the virus.
Fighting the Covid-19 virus and saving the economy might not go very well together, says political analyst Victor Shih in Al Jazeera. While there is very little international supply chains can do at this stage, as Chinese governments make decisions, says Victor Shih, the message for the long run is: diversify.
Sexual child abuse, especially those left behind by their migrant parents, needs more attention, writes author Zhang Lijia, who wrote a bestseller on prostitution in China in the South China Morning. She applauds actions taken by the Supreme People’s Court of China but sees it only as a start.
Religion is on the rise in China, despite worries from the government. China’s diaspora’s are a source of Christianians, as a growing number of Chinese return home with their newly found religious feelings, says journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, at CNN in a story on Kenya.
June 1 is Children’s Day in China, but for those left behind at the countryside, there is no Childrens’ Day, writes author Zhang Lijia in the South China Morning Post. Earlier she wrote Lotus: A Novel on prostitution in China and is currently working on her next book on left-behind children.
Millions of migrant workers left behind their children in their home villages, developing mostly unheard problems. Author Zhang Lijia, who earlier published Lotus: A Novel on prostitution in China, is now working on a book on this hidden drama, including epidemic suicide, and she started publishing their stories in the South China Morning Post.