Thu. Jan 27th, 2022

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Chinese officials have vowed to relieve food shortages in Xi’an for residents locked in their homes as the country battles its worst Covid-19 outbreak since the pandemic began in Wuhan two years ago.

Residents of the central Chinese city of 13 million have complained on social media that their food stores are running low and that it is difficult to buy more supplies because shops are closed and movement has been sharply curtailed.

In many parts of the city, residents are only allowed to leave their homes for mandatory Covid-19 testing and have to rely on patchwork delivery services to replenish supplies.

“The shops here are not open. If they were open, we still could not go down, ”said one Xi’an resident on Weibo, the social media platform. “All we can do is add the store owners’ WeChats and sneak out at night. “Buying food is like being a thief,” the person added.

Happy New Year. What are you most looking forward to in 2022? Share with us and we may be able to display your answer in an upcoming newsletter. Thank you for reading FirstFT Asia. – Emily

1. Finland insists on its right to join NATO Russia’s saber-rattling in Ukraine has sparked a debate in Finland over whether the Nordic country should join NATO, which defies demands of Moscow seeking to limit expansion of the military alliance in Europe.

  • Related reading: The US and its allies are prepared to responds “decisively” should Russia invade Ukraine, President Joe Biden told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin

2. Attack on EU level to describe nuclear power as ‘sustainable’ Germany, Austria and Luxembourg hit Brussels’ plans to classify nuclear power as a sustainable technology in the EU’s green investment labeling system, which is central to Europe’s plans to decarbonise the bloc’s economy.

3. Twitter bans U.S. Republican lawmaker over misinformation Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican whose provocative social media posts have made her one of the most controversial members of the U.S. Congress, is permanently banned from Twitter after repeatedly posting incorrect information about the pandemic.

4. Tesla delivers record number of new vehicles The electric car manufacturer shatters its own production and delivery records in the last months of last year, the supply chain and other problems picked up to give new customers the keys to more than 308,000 vehicles.

5. Chinese technology stocks rise in last 2021 trading session Shares in China’s technology companies has risen on the last trading day of the year, after big rises on Wall Street for US-listed Chinese businesses on Thursday, though the rally was not enough to shake off the gloom after a gloomy 2021 for the sector marked by regulatory repression.

  • More markets news: Global stock markets ended 2021 with double-digit profits for the third year in a row, as easy monetary policy and a flood of fiscal stimulus helped an economic recovery from the pandemic.

Line chart of% change in local currency terms showing US equities loading higher in 2021 while Hong Kong lags behind

Coronavirus consumed

  • The world economy recovery from the historic recession caused by the Covid-19 crisis is better than many economists expected in 2021, but facing a harder road ahead in the coming year, say forecasters.

  • Hong Kong authorities seize Cathay Pacific violations of Covid-19 restrictions, as health officials confirmed the first community-wide Omicron cases in the city.

  • The US Chief Medical Advisor warned of a “unprecedented” boom, as the country reported record numbers of infections that caused hospitalization rates to rise and caused widespread disruption of flights.

  • School in England is set to move some lessons online, amid widespread absences caused by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

  • Just like business executives finally started grabbing at their conference lanyards again after months of restrictions, leading the rapidly spreading Covid-19 tribe postpone another round.

Bar graph of US statistics, rebased to 100 for 2019 showing pandemic wreaking havoc in the exhibition industry

The day ahead

New Johnson & Johnson HUB Joaquin Duato will become CEO of Johnson & Johnson, and will succeed Alex Gorsky who will take over the role of CEO. See what different is in store for 2022 in our special issue of the Week Ahead newsletter.

Israeli interest rate announcement Economists expect Israel’s policymakers keep interest rates stable Monday, according to a Reuters poll. However, analysts expect an increasingly faltering tone. (Reuters)

Hong Kong Retail Sales The area will announce its retail sales figures for November. In October, retail sales rose 12 percent. (SCMP)

What else are we reading

Forecast of the world in 2022 FT writers share their forecasts for the new year, from the possible emergence of an even more contagious strain of coronavirus to the Ukraine stand-off and the NFT bubble.

© Ulla Puggaard

Royal insider Anne Glenconner: ‘I’m not afraid of anything’ At birth, Glenconner disappointed men; since then they have disappointed her. So she compensated. She spent three decades as a waitress for Princess Margaret. “It’s not that I do not like men! But those who are close to one is absolutely crazy, ”She told the FT’s Henry Mance.

How to fulfill your New Year’s resolutions Ayelet Fishbach, a professor of behavioral science, discusses the best way to set goals – and stick with them. On top of that, good news for those whose new ambition is to move to a new job this year.

Looking for the world’s best home cooks One of the joys of cooking in the modern world is that, thanks to cookbooks and online videos, if you have not learned to cook from your own grandmother, you can borrow someone else’s precious secrets.

Lessons at the center of life Not long into the new year, FT columnist Janan Ganesh will be 40. Some of his discoveries to share before the milestone: Go for checked luggage over hand luggage, eat only once a day and the real point of romance.


The eagerness to be at live performances, real performances and personal events, and to experience art that is tangible and tangible, has not disappeared. While pandemic uncertainty continues to shake the arts, here is what to look forward to in a year of cultural highlights.

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