After Fanning Covid Fears, China Must Now Try to Allay Them

after fanning covid fears china must now try to allay them

For nearly three years, the Chinese government deployed its considerable propaganda apparatus to fan fears about Covid to justify large-scale quarantines, frequent mass testing and the tracking of more than a billion people. As the authorities now shift their approach to the pandemic, they face the task of downplaying those fears. Until the past week, during which there were rallies voicing extraordinary public opposition to the stringent “zero Covid” rules, government officials and state media were still emphasizing the most ominous medical news about the pandemic. There were countless stories…

China Eases Some COVID Restrictions Following Protests

china eases some covid restrictions following protests

Days after protests erupted in China over the country’s strict zero-COVID policy, there are signs the government is beginning to ease its testing requirements and quarantine rules in some cities, but it is unclear whether the measures will go far enough to appease those who have been in lockdown for so long. Some called for more protests in China this weekend, but it remains to be seen if people will take to the streets like they did last weekend, when demonstrations broke out in more than 20 cities in a…

Uyghur News Recap: Nov. 18–Dec. 2, 2022

uyghur news recap nov 18 dec 2 2022

WASHINGTON —  Here’s a summary of recent Uyghur-related news from around the world: Uyghurs in exile struggle to keep culture alive National Geographic documents how Uyghurs living in exile in Turkey, Japan and other countries strive to hold on to their language, culture and Uyghur identity. EU set to renew sanctions on Chinese officials accused of rights abuses in Xinjiang The European Union will likely extend sanctions placed in 2019 on four Chinese officials accused of “serious human rights violations” in Xinjiang, the South China Morning Post reports, citing multiple…

Zero-Covid policy is costing China its role as the world’s workshop

The anti-lockdown unrest gripping China has forced the authorities in Beijing to respond by easing some restrictions in big manufacturing centres, as they map out a “new stage and mission” in the country’s deeply unpopular zero-Covid policy. There are concerns that more freedom of movement could allow the virus to rip through a population where immunity is lower than in the west. Those health risks mean the “world’s workshop” is heading for a difficult winter, casting a shadow over the prospects for international trade. Western companies have learned lessons from…

China’s easing of Covid curbs does not solve Xi Jinping’s dilemma

At the end of October, Xi Jinping had secured his position as China’s most powerful leader in decades, his grip on the country cemented by a norm-breaking third term in office. At the end of November, he faced the most widespread protests China had seen in decades, mostly focused on Covid restrictions but also featuring unprecedented calls for Xi to step down. It was an extraordinary juxtaposition of political authority and vulnerability within the space of a month, and one that no one inside or outside the country had foreseen.…

China continues lifting Covid restrictions despite near-record case numbers

Covid-19 testing booths were removed in Beijing on Friday, while Shenzhen followed other cities in announcing it would no longer require commuters to present their test results to travel, as an easing of Covid restrictions in China gathered pace. As daily cases hovered near all-time highs, some cities took steps to loosen coronavirus testing requirements and quarantine rules as China looks to make its zero-Covid policy more targeted amid an economic slowdown and public frustration that has boiled over into unrest. Cities including Guangzhou and Beijing have taken the lead…

US Designates Iran, China as Countries of Concern Over Religious Freedom

us designates iran china as countries of concern over religious freedom

WASHINGTON —  The United States on Friday designated China, Iran and Russia, among others, as countries of particular concern under the Religious Freedom Act over severe violations, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. In a statement, Blinken said those designated as countries of particular concern, which also include North Korea and Myanmar, engaged in or tolerated severe violations of religious freedom. Algeria, the Central African Republic, Comoros and Vietnam were placed on the watch list. Several groups, including the Kremlin-aligned Wagner Group, a private paramilitary organization that is active…

Vietnamese former prisoner tells of repeated abusive treatment while in detention

A former prisoner of conscience in Vietnam said she was beaten by guards and repeatedly threatened by the prison warden, who demanded she take off her clothes, banged on her door to wake her and forced her to sing to him. In October 2019, Nguyen Thi Hue was sentenced to 2 ½ years for “abusing the rights to freedom and democracy” after being arrested for protesting a new law on a special economic zones and allegedly harassing police.  During her time in pretrial detention in la Grai district, in Vietnam’s…

VOA Interview December 2: John Kirby

voa interview december 2 john kirby

white house —  VOA White House correspondent Paris Huang spoke with John Kirby, National Security Council (NSC) Coordinator for Strategic Communications, on Friday about protests in China, the Chinese military, Taiwan, South Korea, and the Russian war in Ukraine. The following transcript has been edited for clarity. VOA: We’ll start with the protests happening in China right now, that the world is watching. So, the scale of the protests in China right now is something that we haven’t seen since the Tiananmen Square happened in 1989. The Chinese top security…

North Korea publicly executes 2 teenagers for distributing South Korean movies

North Korea has publicly executed three teenagers by firing squad – two for watching and distributing South Korean movies and one for murdering his stepmother – two sources who witnessed it told Radio Free Asia. The alleged crimes committed by the teens, estimated to be 16 or 17, were equally evil, authorities told terrified residents, who were forced to watch, the sources said. “They said, ‘Those who watch or distribute South Korean movies and dramas, and those who disrupt social order by murdering other people, will not be forgiven and…