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Hyundai Halts Production as Parts from China Dry up
By Ryu Jung, Lee Soon-heung
February 05, 2020 09:46
Seven of Hyundai's car plants in Korea are coming to a grinding halt as parts supplies from China dry up because workers there are grounded by coronavirus.
Hyundai makes 20 passenger cars, trucks and buses at the plants, and the assembly lines in Ulsan stopped running on Tuesday, while others in Jeonju will wind down on Wednesday and Thursday. Hyundai plans to idle the plants for around 10 days, but it is uncertain whether they can resume if parts factories in China remain closed.
A longer closure could force affiliate Kia and remaining Hyundai plants to halt production as well, which would impact thousands of subcontractors and parts suppliers in Korea.
[Coronavirus] [Collateral] [Value chain]
Coronavirus 'Spreading in N.Korea'
By Kim Myong-song
February 05, 2020 13:28
Several suspected coronavirus infections have occurred in North Korea even though it shut all its borders, sources claim. The infections most likely spread through porous parts of the border with China that see plenty of smuggling and other clandestine traffic.
The regime has even banned foreign diplomats from entering or leaving the country and indefinitely suspended services in hotels and shops in Pyongyang.
Two suspected cases occurred in Sinuiju, a source told Radio Free Asia on Tuesday. He said he heard the news from his family in Sinuiju over the phone. They said one of the patients had been placed in isolation at a motel there and the other lives in the city's Paekun-dong area.
Actress Song Hye-kyo supports Wuhan amid virus outbreak
Posted : 2020-02-02 16:49
Updated : 2020-02-02 19:54
By Dong Sun-hwa
Actress Song Hye-kyo showed her support Saturday for the people of Wuhan, a central Chinese city at the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak.
Wuhan has been shut down following the global epidemic of pneumonia-like infections caused by the virus.
Song uploaded to her Instagram a video of a green globe with the text, "LOVE FOR WUHAN." As the video goes on, the word "WUHAN" turns into "HUMAN." The actress also added emojis featuring "preying hands," but blocked comments.
Actress Song Hye-kyo. Courtesy of United Artists Agency (UAA)
Actress Song Hye-kyo has shown her support for Wuhan and its people on Instagram. Capture from Instagram (@kyo1122)
Legions of her Chinese fans are appreciating Song, dubbing her "a friend indeed." Song boasts particular popularity there thanks to the success of dramas "Full House" (2004) and "Descendants of the Sun" (2016).
Actor Yoo Ah-in also cheered up the virus-hit city. The actor posted the same globe image and wrote, "We are human. We are earth. We are one."
As of Sunday afternoon, China had announced 304 deaths from the virus and 14,380 cases. Korea has 15 confirmed cases.
Song, 37, is reviewing works to return to the screen.
[Coronavirus] [Wuhan] [K-Pop]
China’s Coronavirus Outbreak Reminds Me of the Irish Polio Epidemic I Survived
by Patrick Cockburn
January 28, 2020
China is responding to the spread of the coronavirus in Wuhan much as countries have always reacted to life-threatening epidemics. At every level of society and government, fear of death – or, more accurately, fear of being held responsible for death – drives decision-making, which is consequently often ill-judged.
Officials do not want to cause a panic – but then again, nor do they want to be accused of inaction, or of hiding dire truths about the health crisis (many people have become convinced that more people have been infected, have even died, than the authorities are admitting).
I have been struck in the past few days by the similarity between reactions to two epidemics, though they took place 64 years apart in cities that could not be more different. One is currently taking place in Wuhan in central China, with its population of eleven million; the second struck Cork, an Irish city with a population of 114,000, in 1956.
[Coronavirus] [Polio] [Ireland]
Sick Koreans Won't Be Evacuated from Wuhan
By Yang Ji-ho
January 30, 2020 13:01
Travelers cover themselves with plastic film at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, in this photo provided by a reader.
Koreans in Wuhan who show symptoms of coronavirus will not be able to board charter flights the government here is sending to bring back about 700 Korean nationals from the Chinese city.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare said it will "transport only people without symptoms according to Chinese quarantine regulations." Chinese health officials are stopping passengers from boarding if they have a temperature of over 37.3 degrees Celsius.
Two chartered planes were scheduled to fly to Wuhan on Thursday morning to bring back Korean residents to Gimpo, but the plans changed in consultation with China, which apparently worries about giving the appearance of a mass stoking panic.
[China SK] [Coronavirus]
N.Korea Halts Trade with China Amid Coronavirus Fears
By Kim Myong-song
January 30, 2020 10:28
North Korea has suspended trade with China and its consulates there stopped issuing visas Tuesday amid the rapid spread of coronavirus.
Trade with China is virtually the regime's sole economic lifeline, which suggests how desperate it is to prevent the outbreak from spreading through North Korea, which lacks medical facilities and supplies to deal with any epidemic.
All cargo traffic from the Chinese border town of Dandong to Sinuiju has been blocked since Tuesday. Radio Free Asia quoted a source in North Pyongan Province as saying the customs checkpoints have not officially closed but are letting no cargo trucks through.
A source in the Chinese city of Shenyang told RFA that the North Korean Consulate there put up a notice on Monday that it would not issue visas.
Earlier, the regime banned all Chinese tourists and made it mandatory for all foreigners arriving via China to be kept in quarantine for a month and undergo health checks.
"The North has a poor epidemic control system that could collapse if its quarantine seals are broken," a former Unification Ministry official here said.
The North Korean state media are stressing the need every day to block the spread of the new virus under any circumstances.
[China NK] [Trade] [Coronavirus] [Vulnerability] [Sanctions effect]
Huawei dethrones Apple in smartphone wars
The Chinese multinational outperformed Apple to become the world’s second-largest smartphone seller in 2019
By Dave Makichuk
The United States and other Five Eyes nations have sought to halt Huawei’s global expansion, but it appears the embattled Chinese company continues to defy sanctions and two years of market contraction, Caixin Global reported.
With a global market share of 16%, or 238 million units shipped, the Chinese firm outperformed Apple to become the world’s second-largest smartphone seller in 2019, according to a report by industry research firm Counterpoint.
The report attributed Huawei’s global growth to its robust performance at home, where it grew its market share to a record 40%. Phones shipped in China accounted for more than 60% of Huawei’s total for the year, according to the report.
Counterpoint also predicted that it will be almost impossible for Huawei’s own operating system, which it may use after being banned from doing business with Android creator Google, to compete against Android anywhere outside of China, Caixin reported.
In a bid to mitigate fallout from its US blacklisting, Huawei plans to equip more of its handsets with its own Harmony operating system and self-developed chips.
The tech giant is also encouraging global developers to integrate their apps into Huawei Mobile Services, an alternative to Google Mobile Services, after being stripped of access to licensed Android updates in May, Caixin reported.
The first place for smartphone sellers went to Samsung, which shipped 296 million units last year. Huawei’s Chinese peer Xiaomi claimed the fourth spot, with 124 million smartphones shipped in 2019.
[China competition] [Huawei] [Sanctions[ [China rise]
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Coronavirus and North Korea:
North Korea Temporarily
Closes Borders to Tourism
By Koryo Tours
22nd January 2020
On 22nd January 2020, it was confirmed that North Korea is closing the borders for tourism.
This is in order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
These details have been confirmed by our partners in North Korea.
What is Coronavirus?
The Coronavirus is a cousin of the SARS virus.
It was first detected in Wuhan, China, in December.
Coronavirus has been confirmed that it can be spread human to human.
Coronavirus has since spread to other cities in China including Shenzhen and Beijing, as well as abroad to South Korea, Japan, and potentially also Thailand.
Why did North Korea Close its Borders?
On 20th January 2020, it was confirmed that the virus had spread to South Korea.
Along with cases found in other countries, this was probably a big prompt for North Korea to prevent the spread into the DPRK.
Have North Korea Closed the Borders Before?
North Korea has closed its borders to tourism for similar reasons before.
This has happened twice before.
Once in 2003 during the peak of the SARS virus, and again in 2015 for the Ebola crisis.
In both instances, borders were closed for a few months and strict quarantine rules were put in place.
N.Korea Closes Borders Amid Spread of Coronavirus
By Kim Myong-song
January 23, 2020 09:47
North Korea has banned foreign tourists and closed borders temporarily as Wuhan coronavirus spreads rapidly.
The outbreak, which has killed three people in China so far, seems to have scuppered North Korea's hopes of earning hard currency from Chinese visitors to a brand-new ski resort town and other facilities it is frantically building.
It also thwarts a bizarre plan by the South Korean government to encourage individual travel to North Korea without encouragement from the North or guarantees for travelers' security.
According to Young Pioneer Tours, a Chinese travel agency specializing in tours to the North, the North Korean regime has asked Chinese travel agencies to "stop sending tourists to the North until a vaccine is developed."
"Closing borders is nearly the only means the North has to cope with the spread of the disease as its capacity to prevent epidemics is very poor," said a defector who used to be a senior official in the North.
Asked Wednesday how the border closure will affect the government's plans here, Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Sang-min only said, "We're watching the situation carefully."
Another government official said, "We'll keep reviewing it and making preparations until the situation improves since the government has made no formal proposal to the North yet."
President Tsai touts CSIS role in Taiwan-US ties
Publication Date: January 15, 2020 |
President Tsai Ing-wen said Jan. 14 that Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies has played a crucial role in strengthening Taiwan-U.S. ties.
CSIS has been a consistent supporter of Taiwan’s democracy and a reliable source of strategic insights, Tsai said, citing as an example a workshop hosted Jan. 12 in Taipei City titled “Post-Election Outlook for Taiwan and Beyond: Stability or Uncertainty” co-organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taipei City-based Foundation for Scholarly Exchange and Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, as well as U.S.-headquartered Foreign Policy Research Institute.
[China confrontation] [Taiwan] [CSIS] [Think tanks]
Taiwan election: Tsai Ing-Wen wins landslide in rebuke to China
Incumbent’s success marks dramatic comeback for party that campaigned against unification with China
Lily Kuo in Taipei
Sat 11 Jan 2020 17.15 GMT
First published on Sat 11 Jan 2020 13.20 GMT
Taiwanese voters have re-elected incumbent president Tsai Ing-Wen in a landslide election that serves as a sharp rebuke to Beijing and its attempts to intimidate and cajole Taiwan into China’s fold.
Winning more than 8m votes, the most any presidential candidate has garnered since Taiwan began holding direct elections for the position in 1996, Tsai easily defeated her opponent Han Kuo-yu, whose Kuomintang party promotes closer ties with China.
[Taiwan] [Election] [Tsai Ing-wen] [China confrontation] [Dirty tricks]
Anti-Infiltration Act passed by Taiwan’s Legislature
Publication Date: January 02, 2020 |
The Anti-Infiltration Act is passed by the Legislature Dec. 31 in Taipei City. (CNA)
The Anti-Infiltration Act was passed by the Legislature Dec. 31, 2019, underscoring the commitment of the government to safeguarding national security and Taiwan’s democracy.
Described as an effective democratic defense mechanism by the Ministry of the Interior, the legislation complements existing regulations governing lobbying, political donations, and presidential, vice presidential and civil servant elections and recalls.
It prohibits intervention in Taiwan’s democratic political system through infiltration sources—namely, individuals, institutions or organizations affiliated with or sponsored by a government, political party or other political group of a foreign hostile force, the MOI added.
A hostile foreign force is defined under the act as a country or political entity at war or engaging in a military standoff with Taiwan, including but not limited to China.
Any individual or organization in Taiwan receiving instructions or financial support from a hostile foreign force to influence elections, launch a public referendum or make political donations, among other political activities, are subject to imprisonment of between three and five years, the MOI said.
[Surveillance] [Interference] [China conmfronation] [Reptression]
The Hong Kong protests and imperialism: What the corporate media isn’t saying
Sheila Xiao -
September 24, 2019 17356
Hong Kong protesters wave the Hong Kong colonial flag
The Hong Kong protests have attracted considerable attention, and also considerable confusion. The goal of this article is to provide context for what is going on in Hong Kong today now that the anti-extradition protests have entered their sixth month. Without providing a basic historical understanding of Hong Kong, the social conditions that led to the protests, the character of the protest leadership, and the relationship between the People’s Republic of China and the rest of the world, the mainstream media mischaracterizes the struggle in Hong Kong in the interests of US imperialism. Without this crucial context, people can draw conclusions that have dangerous implications despite their good intentions.
How did the anti-extradition protests begin?
In February of 2018, a 19-year old man from Hong Kong murdered his pregnant 20-year old girlfriend in a hotel in Taiwan. He returned back to Hong Kong, where he confessed to the murder. Hong Kong, however, does not have an extradition treaty with Taiwan, and because Hong Kong is officially governed by China under “One Country, Two Systems,” the People’s Republic of China does not formally recognize Taiwan as a separate country. Technically the crime committed happened on Chinese territory. But since there is no extradition pact in place, there was no distinguishable way to try the murderer for his crime.
The solution, then, was to establish an extradition agreement between Hong Kong and China.
The protestors saw this as a Chinese encroachment on Hong Kong’s sovereignty, and an opening for the PRC to abuse its power over HK. The so-called “pro-democracy,” or “pro-independence” camp, that used this extradition bill as a rallying cry to demand independence and secession from China. Some speculate that the extradition bill would close a loophole that wealthy oligarchs enjoyed who would otherwise be targeted by China’s anti-corruption campaign.
For context, the anti-corruption campaign was implemented in 2012 by Xi Jinping to crackdown on high-ranking officials who were accused of bribery, political interference, money laundering or any other form of abuse of power that compromised the legitimacy of the Communist Party.
As a result, thousands of officials have been investigated in criminal corruption cases. Imagine what an anti-corruption campaign of US officials would look like!
[Hong Kong] [Destabilisation]
Taiwan thanks US president for signing NDAA 2020
Publication Date: December 23, 2019 |
The signing of the National Defense Authorization Act 2020 reaffirming U.S. support for Taiwan is deeply appreciated, according to the Presidential Office Dec. 21. (Courtesy of Tourism Bureau)
The signing of the National Defense Authorization Act 2020 by U.S. President Donald J. Trump, which contains passages highlighting Taiwan’s national security and China’s attempted electoral interference, is sincerely appreciated by the country, according to the Presidential Office Dec. 21.
Taiwan and the U.S. share the fundamental values of freedom and democracy, PO Spokesperson Alex Huang said, adding that the government will continue working with the White House to enhance bilateral security cooperation.
“To safeguard national security and fulfill its responsibilities maintaining regional peace and stability, Taiwan will continue to actively improve military readiness and build up its self-defense capabilities,” he added.
Introduced by U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, the legislation describes Taiwan as a vital partner critical to a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and reaffirms U.S. commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act and Six Assurances.
[China confrontation] [Taiwan] [Congress]
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