Will Sanctions Against Russia Impact International Oil and Gas Prices?
The global economy is facing the biggest energy price shock on record. Oil prices have plummeted as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak that has slashed global oil demand. After the epidemic, with the reduction of output by oil-producing countries and the recovery of global demand, oil prices have slowly rebounded in the past year. But the outbreak of a military conflict between Russia and Ukraine makes the market worry that oil supply will be blocked. This has stimulated oil prices to soar nearly 50% in the past two weeks.
The impact of geopolitical conflict on oil prices tends to be short-lived unless the supply is disrupted. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has not had a major impact on the international oil supply and demand. Compared with oil, Russia’s greater influence on the international energy trade mainly comes from the supply of natural gas. The impact of this serious geopolitical conflict on the international energy industry will slowly spread to the world in the next few years.
New Guidelines Released Seeking to Boost Vocational Education
Advocating the development of vocational education is a challenging reform. Neither vocational schools, nor their potential students, are fully prepared for this profound change. It remains to be seen whether this policy will lead to the development of a large number of vocational high schools with respected teaching standards, or whether it will exacerbate educational inequality.
Vigorously developing vocational education has been released as a policy guideline at the national level, but in practice, there is still a long way to go for vocational schools to obtain the same level of social recognition as ordinary middle schools. Today, in the minds of many people, getting into high school is the first watershed in their children’s lives. The policy aims to improve the image of vocational education so that more students and parents will choose vocational education. However, vocational high school is also faced with problems such as low teaching level. Whether the policy can achieve its original intention still remains a question.
Reflections on China’s Drugs Innovation Boom
Among the 12 pharmaceutical companies listed on the STAR market, three forecasted that they would continue to lose money. The performance of innovative drug companies in the secondary market in 2021 seems to be stronger than in 2020, when these companies all suffered major losses. However, innovative drug companies are no longer the favorites of the investing circle. As investment in innovative pharmaceutical companies recedes, these companies need to rely on their own efforts to survive.
In recent months, most of the market value growth of innovative pharmaceutical companies due to the Covid-19 epidemic has been evaporated. Negative sentiment in the secondary market was quickly transmitted to the primary market. Several people in the investment community have acknowledged that certain well-known funds have temporarily cut their investments in China’s innovative medicines since the fourth quarter of 2021. The founders of these companies are still waiting for more capital flows hoping things will get better in the second half of 2022. However, the latest geopolitical conflict has made it uncertain when the capital market will stabilize.
China’s Single Women Fighting to Lift the Ban on Freezing Eggs
Some single women expect to preserve their fertility by freezing their eggs. But such an expectation was rejected by the hospital because it did not comply with relevant policies. This sparked China’s first lawsuit of single women fighting for egg freezing.
At the same time, during China’s Two Sessions, some representative suggested in the proposal to change traditional concepts as soon as possible and formulate policies to support the wishes and efforts of single women to preserve their fertility. Meanwhile, people from all over the country, of different ages are actively discussing the topics of female egg freezing through social media. Due to the current policy guidelines, single women who want to freeze their eggs and control their reproductive rights have to wait for a turnaround in anxiety. Some experts have expressed deep concerns that these women could be forced to freeze their eggs overseas at higher financial costs and risks.