Chinese warned not to visit elderly as Covid wave reaches countryside – China signals desire to work with US on trade and climate – China wraps up two-year tech crackdown
Welcome back to What’s Happening in China. This week, we delve into the current status of the COVID-19 situation in China as the Spring Festival holiday approaches and families prepare to reunite. We also look at China-US relations in light of the upcoming visit to Beijing by US Secretary of State Blinken in February. Additionally, stay informed with the latest updates on Chinese music, preview the most highly-anticipated films set to release in 2023, and lots more.
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PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Rights groups and Uyghurs living abroad have strongly condemned a visit to Xinjiang this week by a delegation of Muslim scholars and clerics from developing nations who voiced support for China’s policies in the far-western region, saying they turned a blind eye to the suffering of persecuted Uyghurs.
Zhanargul Zhumatai, a Kazakh artist and former editor, lives in fear of being rearrested by the Chinese authorities at any time.
Lost in Smog – The American Scholar
Darren Byler on translating the fiction of Uyghur writer Perhat Tursun
Prof Guo Jianwen, a member of the state council’s pandemic prevention team, urged people “don’t go home to visit them” if elderly relatives had not yet been infected.
Many hospitals across the country were already overwhelmed following the abrupt lifting of “zero-COVID” controls in early December, following rare mass protests related to the restrictions. Now, Chinese authorities are racing to equip rural medical facilities with medical supplies and essential goods ahead of the Lunar New Year Spring Festival.
China’s nationwide Covid infections could remain high for another two to three months, with severe case numbers staying elevated for even longer, the former chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Zeng Guang, said.
Chinese medical workers say the COVID-19 wave is the worst crisis they have faced in decades. Mass infections among hospital staff are only making things worse.
Chinese health care authorities declined to include Pfizer’s COVID-19 treatment drug in a national reimbursement list that would have allowed patients to get it at a cheaper price throughout the country, saying it was too expensive.
When you arrive in China now the officials in head-to-toe protective clothing are gone. There are no buses with special plastic dividers waiting to take you to centralised quarantine. The main reminder that Covid is still around is that people are wearing masks.
After three years of tough pandemic controls, China’s sudden U-turn on its zero-Covid policy last month has brought relief but also anxiety that the country is unprepared for the surge in cases. In the first of a five-part series on the policy change and its impact, William Zheng looks at the political factors behind Beijing’s decision to reopen.
China saw about a quarter of a million travelers enter the country on its first day of reopening, though the figure remains a fraction of pre-pandemic flows.
Japan and South Korea are not the only countries imposing entry requirements on travellers from China, where Covid cases are surging, but their measures are among the most stringent.
Manufacturing certainty on the origin of Covid-19 is damaging to science – The Microbiologist
Instead of grappling only with the fact that scientific research might have caused this pandemic, we now also have to contend with whether and how members of the scientific community have suppressed inquiry into a laboratory origin of Covid-19.
POLITICS & SOCIETY
He was seen as the most prominent of China’s diplomatic wolf warriors – named after a popular Chinese film franchise – who were characterised by an aggressive stance departing from Beijing’s previously more restrained approach.
Li Qiang has Xi Jinping's confidence but will he have the strength of character to live up to his name and win back investors' confidence?
The promotion will see Ma, 59, a former foreign ministry spokesman and ambassador to Australia and the United Nations, take on full ministerial duties and oversee the department’s daily affairs.
Using phone tower data, police were able to roughly triangulate who had been near the Liangma River the night of Nov. 27. They called in vigil attendees or visited their homes at night.
The proposed subsidies, currently soliciting public opinion, are among the latest attempts by China’s local authorities to boost low birthrates in the face of falling marriage rates and an aging population that is shrinking the country’s labor force. These demographic challenges could have a far-reaching impact on the economy and society.
Shanghai Eyes a Post-COVID Era – Sixth Tone
The city plans to improve its medical infrastructure, as well as promote its tangible and intangible heritage.
The wives of Pastor Lian Changnian and Brother Lian Xuliang, and the husband of Sister Fu Juan report that their spouses are still detained in government-designated residences and are now accused of “endangering national security’ in addition to “religious fraud.”
Why Are Make-up Working Days a Thing in China? – The Beijinger
Be that as it may, the idea of having to work weekend make-up days is not well received by most employees. In 2013, an online survey revealed that more than 70 percent of respondents were not satisfied with these holiday arrangements.
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