Xi Critical of Restrictive Measures Overseas
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Ningbo Zhoushan Port on Sunday, voicing concern over the restrictive measures on shipping that other nations have adopted.
Xinhua, the state news agency, reports that he stressed the need to strive to achieve this year's goals for economic and social progress while speaking about activity resuming in the East China region after the lockdown instigated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ningbo Zhoushan Port's throughput has recovered to normal levels. Xi said Zhoushan Port plays an important role in the building of the Belt and Road, the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the integration of the Yangtze River Delta.
One of the world's top container ports, Zhoushan Port handled about 1.12 billion tonnes of cargo in 2019.
Xi said that the situation in China is moving steadily in a positive direction, but the virus is still spreading fast overseas, posing increasing challenges to China's economy.
Indeed, many analysts believe that China’s ports could face a second, more prolonged period of supply chain disruptions as international demand slows. “We expect the near-term impact on trade growth in coming quarters likely to be the worst ever, as economies stall and external demand faces imminent collapse on large scale quarantine measures across major economies,” said Rahul Kappor, vice president at IHS Markit.
Reuters reports that China’s container processing volumes fell 10.6 percent in the first two months of 2020 compared to the year before, while exports dropped 17.2 percent. Second-quarter figures are expected to be harder hit.