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China Forges Ahead Through Chaos and US Threats
Beijing is turbocharging its Belt and Road and other game-changing plans despite Covid-19 and US hybrid warfare
By Pepe Escobar
Global Research, May 10, 2020
Amid the deepest economic contraction in nearly a century, President Xi Jinping had already made it very clear, last month, that China should be ready for unprecedented, relentless foreign challenges.
He was not referring only to the possible decoupling of global supply chains and the non-stop demonization of every project related to the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative.
An allegedly leaked internal document, secret and invisible inside China, but nonetheless obtained by some obscure Western-connected source, even stated, essentially, that the blame game against China over the virus is like the backlash over Tiananmen all over again.
According to the secret, invisible document, China would have to “prepare for armed confrontation between the two global powers” – a reference to the US. It’s as if this was an aggressive strategy deployed by the Chinese state in the first place, and not in response to the massive escalation of hybrid warfare 2.0 by the United States government.
For all practical purposes, the hysterical demonization of China across the Beltway has now overtaken the previous hysterics, the demonization of Russia.
What Beijing used to define as a “period of strategic opportunity” is over. There were rumblings in intel circles that the CCP leadership believed this strategic window of opportunity would last unimpeded until the key date, 2049 – when “national rejuvenation” should have been fully accomplished.
Forget it. Now the whole game is about hybrid warfare 2.0 deployed by the US to contain the emerging superpower, whatever it takes. And that implies that a plethora of Chinese plans are now being turbo-charged.
The first order of business is to restore the productivity of the Made in China machine. During his recent visit to Shaanxi province, historically crucial for the CCP, President Xi insisted on it, coupled with an anti-poverty offensive. He had promised to eliminate poverty this year.
Significantly, and contrary to all Western forecasts, China’s exports grew 3.5% in April, compared with a fall of 6.6% in March
Why China’s President Xi Won’t Repeat Ming Dynasty Mistakes
China has learned from its own rich history and is applying those lessons to re-emerge as a major 21st century power
By Pepe Escobar
Global Research, May 13, 2020
With hybrid warfare 2.0 against China reaching fever pitch, the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative, will continue to be demonized 24/7 as the proverbial evil communist plot for economic and geopolitical domination of the “free” world, boosted by a sinister disinformation campaign.
It’s idle to discuss with simpletons. In the interest of an informed debate, what matters is to find the deeper roots of Beijing’s strategy – what the Chinese learned from their own rich history and how they are applying these lessons as a re-emerging major power in the young 21st century.
Let’s start with how East and West used to position themselves at the center of the world.
The first Chinese historic-geographic encyclopedia, the 2nd century B.C. Classic of the Mountains and the Seas, tells us the world was what was under the sun (tienhia). Composed of “mountains and seas” (shanhai), the world was laid out between “four seas” (shihai). There’s only one thing that does not change: the center. And its name is “Middle Kingdom” (Zhongguo), that is, China.
Of course, the Europeans, in the 16th century, discovering that the earth was round, turned Chinese centrality upside down. But actually not that much (see, for instance, this 21st century Sinocentric map published in 2013).
China Accuses Pompeo of Lying About Origin of Coronavirus
May 05, 2020 08:29
China accused U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday of "wantonly spewing poison and spreading lies" about the origin of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. A day ago, the top U.S. diplomat said there was "enormous evidence" that the pandemic originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, not a nearby market.
But China's state broadcaster CCTV attacked what it described as Pompeo's "insane and evasive remarks." It claimed the pandemic was natural in origin.
Pompeo told ABC News's "This Week" show, "Remember, China has a history of infecting the world, and they have a history of running substandard laboratories. These are not the first times that we've had a world exposed to viruses as the result of failures in a Chinese lab."
The Chinese commentary contended, "These flawed and unreasonable remarks by American politicians make it clear to more and more people that no 'evidence' exists." "The so-called 'virus leaked from a Wuhan lab' hype is a complete and utter lie," China said. "American politicians are rushing to shift the blame, cheat votes and suppress China when their own domestic anti-epidemic efforts are a mess."
[Pompeo] [China bashing] [Diversion] [Laboratory leak]
China tells WHO they’re not wanted
World pressure builds as China refuses requests by the World Health Organization to take part in Covid-19 probe
by Dave Makichuk May 1, 2020
China has refused repeated requests by the World Health Organization to take part in investigations into the origins of Covid-19. Credit: Handout.
Thanks, but no thanks. Really, we don’t need you.
That was the response as China has refused repeated requests by the World Health Organization to take part in investigations into the origins of Covid-19, the WHO representative in China has told Sky News.
“We know that some national investigation is happening but at this stage we have not been invited to join,” Dr. Gauden Galea said.
“WHO is making requests of the health commission and of the authorities,” he said. “The origins of virus are very important, the animal-human interface is extremely important and needs to be studied.
“The priority is we need to know as much as possible to prevent the reoccurrence.”
The Australian government has called for an independent public enquiry into the origins of Covid-19, a measure EU countries are reportedly considering publicly endorsing as well, the report said.
China reacted angrily, with one official issuing a thoroughly embarrassing statement, that Australia is the gum on the bottom of China’s shoe — a surprisingly amateurish remark that will surely backfire and give weight to the call for international involvement.
[Coronavirus] [Media] [WHO] [Diversion] [China confrontation]
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VP Chen shares Taiwan’s experience combating coronavirus with The New York Times
Publication Date: April 23, 2020 |
Vice President Chen Chien-jen expounds on Taiwan’s experience combating coronavirus during an interview with The New York Times at the Presidential Office in Taipei City. (Courtesy of PO)
Vice President Chen Chien-jen sat down for an interview with The New York Times earlier this week at the Presidential Office in Taipei City to share Taiwan’s experience combating coronavirus and the impact of the country’s exclusion from the World Health Organization.
Exclusive: China sent team including medical experts to advise on North Korea’s Kim, sources say
BEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) - China has dispatched a team to North Korea including medical experts to advise on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to three people familiar with the situation.
FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks as he takes part in a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 11, 2020. KCNA/via REUTERS/File Photo
The trip by the Chinese doctors and officials comes amid conflicting reports about the health of the North Korean leader. Reuters was unable to immediately determine what the trip by the Chinese team signaled in terms of Kim’s health.
A delegation led by a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party’s International Liaison Department left Beijing for North Korea on Thursday, two of the people said. The department is the main Chinese body dealing with neighbouring North Korea.
The sources declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter.
The Liaison Department could not be reached by Reuters for comment late on Friday. China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment late on Friday.
[China NK] [Kim Jong Un] [Health]
Vietnam’s success in containing Covid-19
Kerry Goulston, Thanh Nguyen and Oliver Frankel
Posted on 22 April 2020 by John Menadue
Relative to most other countries, including Australia, Vietnam seems to be faring extremely well in the shadow of the current coronavirus pandemic, and has recently earned praise from the WHO. Vietnam had only 275 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and thankfully no deaths from the virus, as at 17 April 2020.
While no-one should be under any misapprehension that the Covid-19 pandemic remains a huge threat to public health globally, and even countries which have had initial success in containing the virus have suffered second waves, Vietnam’s public health record has to date been remarkable, and the contributors to that success are worth noting.
Why Vietnam’s Covid-19 record is so impressive
Vietnam’s population, at just over 97 million, is roughly 3.8 times that of Australia, yet as at 17 April, Vietnam’s confirmed cases of Covid-19 represented only 4% those of Australia. With a population of just over half that of Vietnam, South Korea, which has been held up as a beacon of good practice in this pandemic, had 10,635 confirmed cases at that date, and 230 Covid-19 related deaths.
MOFA voices discontent with WHO remarks on Taiwan
Publication Date: April 17, 2020 |
The MOFA expresses strong disagreement with the WHO Secretariat and its claims regarding Taiwan’s WHO participation April 16 in Taipei City. (MOFA)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs April 16 expressed strong dissatisfaction over remarks made a day earlier by the World Health Organization’s Secretariat justifying its stance on Taiwan’s WHO participation.
The Secretariat’s citing of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 2758 and World Health Assembly Resolution 25.1 as justifications for Taiwan’s exclusion is erroneous, while its claim of having maintained good and extensive interactions with Taiwan also fails to present the full picture, the MOFA said.
[Taiwan] [WHO] [Separatism]
Race for vaccine development sparks fierce competition between US and China
Posted on : Apr.5,2020 19:06 KST Modified on : Apr.5,2020 19:06 KST
Rushed human trials spark concerns of releasing vaccine before safety is assessed
A participant in a clinical trial for a vaccine. (Wikimedia Commons)
A race for vaccine development is heating up around the world as countries gear up for a long-term battle with the novel coronavirus. Competition between the US and China has been especially fierce. The two countries have been neck and neck as they have begun clinical trials on coronavirus vaccines faster than expected. Two big factors in accelerating the schedule have been the Chinese leadership’s efforts to make up for botching the early response to the virus and strong backing from US President Donald Trump as he eyes re-election. But with the two sides in a race for bragging rights, some are voicing concerns that safety in vaccine testing could end up neglected in the development process.
The US made the first move, with its National Institutes of Health (NIH) announcing in Mar. 16 that it had begun clinical trials on the world’s first vaccine for the novel coronavirus. The very next day, the Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS) under China’s PLA Academy of Military Science also announced that it had begun clinical trials.
The US vaccine was jointly developed by the pharmaceutical company Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Moderna began a six-week clinical trial process on 45 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 55 at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. Participants are receiving two vaccine injections one month apart -- a phase 1 clinical trial to test the vaccine’s soundness.
[Coronavirus] [Vaccine] [China competition]
China could prey on Covid-19 weakened Pentagon
Coronavirus infections among US soldiers have grounded an aircraft carrier and opened the way for China in strategic Pacific waters
by Richard Javad Heydarian
April 3, 2020
Mask wearing US soldiers in health emergency mode. Photo: Twitter
MANILA – As the Covid-19 pandemic ravages America, the Pentagon’s sudden vulnerability to the lethal disease has grounded vessels and provided China a potential historic opening in the Indo-Pacific, one that could result in a seismic shift in the region’s maritime balance of power.
Washington has in recent days announced an upsurge in infection rates among military personnel deployed at various overseas US missions. The US Navy’s Indo-Pacific Command, which covers vast areas of Asia including the hotly contested South China Sea, has been particularly hard hit, according to reports.
[China confrontation] [Coronavirus] [Hysteria] [South China Sea]
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China’s formidable achievement
Posted on 25 March 2020
China deserves credit, not abuse for epidemic management
European nations appear to be so overwhelmed by active cases that they have had little opportunity to see the COVID-19 presentations in epidemiological context. The Chinese have begun publishing some papers on their experience – and with a good many properly expressed reservations about their data, but most of their material depends on their experiences with people, or groups (such as young people) who got sick. In China, lots of people got sick. But lots did not, whether because of quarantine or other active measures designed to reduce the chance of exposure, or, perhaps because the disease simply did not take. As yet we have no understanding of why some won and some lost.
Although the Australian incidence is rising, the prevalence is still small. We must keep sufficient screening tests for those presenting as sick, but we now have the time, and the scope, for extensive latitudinal and longitudinal studies among different populations, temperature zones, and social groups. And even if most Australians are, in theory, following similar rules designed to reduce exposure, there might be scope too to look at the impact of particular containment regimes.
[Coronavirus] [China success] [Disclaimer]
China defends against incoming second wave of coronavirus
Brenda Goh, Thomas Suen
WUHAN, China (Reuters) - A growing number of imported coronavirus cases in China risked fanning a second wave of infections when domestic transmissions had “basically been stopped”, a senior health official said on Sunday, while eased travel curbs may also add to domestic risks.
A man wearing a face mask skateboards on a street in Wuhan, Hubei province, the epicenter of China's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, March 28, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song
China, where the disease first emerged in the central city of Wuhan, had an accumulated total of 693 cases entering from overseas, which meant “the possibility of a new round of infections remains relatively big”, Mi Feng, spokesman for the National Health Commission (NHC), said.
Nearly a quarter of those came from arrivals in Beijing.
“Beijing, the capital, still bears the brunt of the risks,” said Xu Hejian, spokesman for the Beijing government, told reporters.
In China, walled up Wuhan awaits life beyond the barricades
China says imported virus cases raise risk of new infection wave
“There’s no reason to lay back and relax yet. It’s not a time when we can say everything is going well.”
Most of those imported cases have involved Chinese returning home from abroad.
[Coronavirus] [China success]
China’s Covid-19 fight shifts to key cities
Airports in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou step up screening as overseas Chinese return
by Frank Chen March 16, 2020
Temperature detection cameras scan passengers at Guangzhou's Baiyun International Airport. Photo: Xinhua
Now that the contagion crisis in Wuhan and the rest of Hubei province has eased substantially, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have become the new battlefields in the campaign against the still-spreading novel coronavirus, not from within but from hordes of returning overseas Chinese.
China’s all-out war to eradicate the pneumonic epidemic has shifted away from Wuhan, the breeding ground of the pathogen, to the country’s three largest urban centers because the spike in the number of returning Chinese who have become infected while overseas is threatening to vitiate China’s efforts and sacrifice. This is happening after almost two months of excruciatingly far-reaching measures, such as city and community lockdowns and travel bans, were starting to pay off.
On Monday, Wuhan reported just four new infections, compared with at least 10 passengers exhibiting symptoms who were intercepted and then tested positive for Covid-19 in Beijing, bringing the city’s tally of imported cases to 31, according to figures released by the local government. Guangdong has also rushed to isolate four infected passengers.
To stop the plague from creeping back into China, Beijing has closed its brand-new Daxing Airport to all passengers arriving from overseas, and instead, will funnel them into Zone D inside Terminal 3 at its Capital International Airport for centralized temperature and health screening. Paramedics in full protective suits will check the condition of each disembarking passenger in special aerobridges along a fully-enclosed route.
[China success] [Coronavirus] [Testing] [Overseas Chinese]
China has effectively contained corona virus.
Posted on 6 March 2020
It’s now clear that draconian measures imposed in response to the crisis have worked.
The big news of the past week is that China has effectively contained coronavirus, with new cases there having dropped dramatically. Whatever legitimate criticisms there were of China’s delayed recognition of the virus’ seriousness and its initial lack of transparency, it’s now clear that draconian measures imposed in response to the crisis have worked. It means China’s economy could well be functioning fully by month-end, which is great news for Australia. If right, it will make the federal government’s multi-billion stimulus plans unnecessary and, most likely, counterproductive.
[Coronavirus] [China success] [Australia] [Economy]
No Price Is Too High for This Gov't in Appeasing China
February 28, 2020 13:49
One region in China's Heilongjiang Province apparently notified residents to immediately report any Korean or Japanese nationals who entered China secretly. They will immediately be sent to quarantine facilities. One apartment in Jiangsu Province where a Korean lives has been sealed off to ensure that he does not leave the home until the mandatory 14-day quarantine passes. This is the same treatment Chinese authorities imposed on residents of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic. More than 100 Koreans have been forcefully quarantined at airports in China over the last two days. Officials in Sichuan Province faced a barrage of criticism from the Chinese public after when they allowed Koreans to enter after only taking their temperature. More Koreans are expected to face such persecution abroad.
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[Coronavirus] [China SK]
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President Tsai meets with former senior US official
Publication Date: February 21, 2020 |
President Tsai Ing-wen (right) meets with Randall Schriver, chairman of Project 2049 Institute, at the Presidential Office Feb. 20 in Taipei City. (Courtesy of Presidential Office)
President Tsai Ing-wen met with Randall Schriver, chairman of Project 2049 Institute and former U.S. Department of Defense assistant secretary for Indo-Pacific security affairs, Feb. 20 at the Presidential Office, emphasizing the two sides’ long-standing commitment to regional peace and freedom.
Schriver was joined during his visit by Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu and National Security Council Secretary-General David Lee.
Tsai thanked Schriver for strengthening the Taiwan-U.S. security relationship during his tenure as assistant secretary for IPSA, particularly for his role in facilitating an agreement to sell the country F-16V fighter jets in 2019. She also expressed her appreciation for Schriver’s continued support of Taiwan’s democracy and security.
[China Confrontation] [Taiwan]
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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