Chinese stocks plunge on COVID-19 fears, concerns over Beijing and Moscow’s relationship

Chinese stocks took a dive on Monday as the country combats its worst COVID-19 outbreak in two years and concerns grow over Beijing’s close relationship with Moscow.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index in Hong Kong closed down 7.15%, while the CSI 300 Index in Shanghai fell 3.01%.

Chinese stocks listed in the US also spiraled. Alibaba fell 10.32%, JD.com closed down 10.52%, and Baidu dove 8.37%.

Residents line up at a makeshift nucleic acid testing site during a mass testing for COVID-19 in Chaoyang district of Beijing, China March 14, 2022. (REUTERS / Tingshu Wang)

China is dealing with its worst COVID-19 outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic. On Sunday, officials locked down Shenzen, a southern city of about 17.5 million near Hong Kong that serves as a vital tech and finance hub.

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Changchun, a city of about nine million in northeastern China, went into lockdown on Friday.

Beijing and Shanghai were also shutting down offices and residential areas where some COVID-19 cases cropped up.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping pose during a meeting. (Alexei Druzhinin \ TASS via Getty Images)

There are also fresh concerns about Beijing’s cozy relationship with Moscow after reports came out Sunday that Russia has requested military assistance from China since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

“The national security adviser and our delegation raised directly and very clearly our concerns about the PRC’s support to Russia in the wake of the invasion, and the implications that any such support would have for the PRC’s relationship not only with us, but for its relationships around the world, “State Department spokesman Ned Price warned on Monday.

A building damaged by shelling is lit by the sunset in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Friday, March 11, 2022. (AP Photo / Andrew Marienko)

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China and Russia have both denied the reports, but White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and senior Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi met in Rome on Monday so that the US could “convey very clearly our concerns,” Price said.

Russia has been hit by unprecedented sanctions and hundreds of major Western companies have fled the country after Putin invaded Ukraine.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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