Foreign investment has nearly run out and some projects have been suspended for more than two years as restrictions imposed by the pandemic made it essentially impossible for foreign executives to visit China. When corporate executives turn to top Chinese officials, their calls are silenced, said Michael Hart, president of the US Chamber of Commerce in China.
“China has been very firm that it has the right strategy and doesn’t want people to criticize it,” Hart said.
Some of China’s top leaders have also begun sharing concerns about the economy. Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang described the employment situation as “complicated and serious” as migrant workers and university students struggle to find and keep jobs during lockdowns.
Although daily cases of the virus in Shanghai are steadily declining, authorities have tightened measures in recent days following Mr. Xi’s invitation last week to double down. Officials also began forcing entire residential buildings into government isolation if only one resident tested positive.
The new measures are tougher than those at the start of the pandemic and have been met pockets of agitationpreviously rare in China, where citizens mostly supported the country’s pandemic policies.
In a video that was released widely online before it was removed from censorship, an exasperated woman screams as officials in fireproof white coveralls break down her door to take her to an isolation facility. She protests and asks them to testify that she tested positive. She eventually picks up the phone to call the police.