A live map of vessels off the eastern coast of China shows cargo ship delays and backups caused by the country’s COVID-19 restrictions, claims AP News.
While the wait times and the number of ships have increased at Chinese ports in recent months, the map itself doesn’t show anything out of the ordinary, according to experts and MarineTracker, the website where the map comes from. The markers on the map represent all kinds of vessels, not just commercial cargo ships. And experts say the map would have looked similar in March 2020, the early days of the pandemic.
With Shanghai under strict lockdown due to China’s “zero-COVID” policy, social media users are pointing to a maritime map of a large number of vessels off the country’s eastern coast, claiming it shows how vessels are being held up at ports due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
“Ships waiting to dock because of China’s insane COVID strategy. This is intentional,” reads one tweet posted on May 3 with more 57,000 likes. The tweet includes a screenshot of a live tracking map, although it is unclear when this screenshot was taken.
“CHINA – Every dot is a vessel stacked in queues at all ports, not just Shanghai. China’s lockdown policies will cripple western supply chains, destroy businesses and weaken economies & governments. Almost like sanctions. #COVID19,” reads another tweet of the same screenshot with more than 2,000 likes.
A review of the screenshot shows it comes from MarineTraffic’s live map, which tracks positions of vessels around the world in real time.
But the map doesn’t just show commercial ships, as the tweets suggest, it shows every craft in the water — from fishing boats to yachts.
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Source: AP News