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Fears of deadly infection surge as China abandons zero-Covid policy

The portable PCR testing booth dangled in the air over a dark Beijing street, captured on camera as it was winched away by a crane in the middle of the night. The image spread rapidly across Chinese social media, the perfect symbol of the bewilderingly rapid end of a draconian era. In the face of the most widespread national protests since the bloody crackdown on Tiananmen Square demonstrators in 1989, the Chinese government has abruptly abandoned its flagship zero-Covid policy. In Beijing, people prepared to go into shopping malls or…

China’s Xi Unwilling to Accept Vaccines Despite Threat From Protests, US Says

chinas xi unwilling to accept vaccines despite threat from protests us says

WASHINGTON —  Chinese leader Xi Jinping is unwilling to accept Western vaccines despite the challenges China is facing with COVID-19, and while recent protests there are not a threat to Communist Party rule, they could affect his personal standing, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said Saturday. Although China’s daily COVID cases are near all-time highs, some cities are taking steps to loosen testing and quarantine rules after Xi’s zero-COVID policy triggered a sharp economic slowdown and public unrest. Haines, speaking at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in…

Pentagon Chief: US Faces Pivotal Years in Countering China

pentagon chief us faces pivotal years in countering china

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. —  The U.S. is at a pivotal point with China and will need military strength to ensure that American values, not Beijing’s, set global norms in the 21st century, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Saturday. Austin’s speech at the Reagan National Defense Forum capped a week in which the Pentagon was squarely focused on China’s rise and what that might mean for America’s position in the world. On Monday it released an annual China security report that warned Beijing would likely have 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035,…

When Jiang Zemin showed the world that Hong Kong meant business

when jiang zemin showed the world that hong kong meant business

Around that time, a representative of Fortune magazine was passing through Hong Kong on his way to another city in Southeast Asia, hoping to negotiate a contract to host the 2001 Fortune Global Forum. The event in those days was annual, alternating between Europe and Asia, and had been held in several cities around the region but never before in Hong Kong. In 1999, it had been held in China for the first time to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. The Shanghai forum…

China’s Xi Jinping ‘unwilling’ to accept western Covid vaccines says US intelligence chief

Chinese leader Xi Jinping is unwilling to accept western vaccines despite the challenges China is facing with Covid-19, and while recent protests there are not a threat to Communist party rule, they could affect his personal standing, US director of national intelligence Avril Haines said. Although China’s daily Covid cases are near all-time highs, some cities are taking steps to loosen testing and quarantine rules after Xi’s zero-Covid policy triggered a sharp economic slowdown and public unrest opposing Covid-19 lockdowns. Haines, speaking at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in…

China is at the centre of Asia’s struggle for water security

china is at the centre of asias struggle for water security

However, the country’s water supply is severely undermined by interlinked factors of water scarcity, urbanisation, population growth, pollution, and competing water demands. China’s approach to water management has traditionally been engineering-focused, as shown by the construction of many inter-basin transfer projects and hydropower dams. This approach is reinforced by official policy documents such as national and provincial five-year plans. 02:15 Villager fishes in drying pools at China’s biggest freshwater lake Notably, China’s proposal to safeguard water security in its 14th five-year plan (2021-2025), published earlier this year, is the first…

Pentagon unveils first strategic bomber in over 30 years to counter China

The Pentagon unveiled its first new strategic bomber in more than 30 years on Friday, a nuclear-capable bat-wing plane that will become a central component of the US effort to counter China’s military build-up when it enters service around 2027. Almost every aspect of the B-21 Raider is classified, but in a tightly-controlled unveiling at the Air Force’s Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, currently home of Lockheed-Martin’s legendary Skunk Works, the new strategic plane was briefly shown to the public. “This isn’t just another airplane,” Lloyd Austin, the defense secretary,…

Beijing, Shenzhen Scrap COVID-19 Tests for Public Transport 

beijing shenzhen scrap covid 19 tests for public transport

Beijing —  Chinese authorities on Saturday announced a further easing of COVID-19 curbs with major cities such as Shenzhen and Beijing no longer requiring negative tests to take public transport. The slight relaxation of testing requirements comes even as daily virus infections reach near-record highs, and follows weekend protests across the country by residents frustrated by the rigid enforcement of anti-virus restrictions that are now entering their fourth year, even as the rest of the world has opened up. The southern technological manufacturing center of Shenzhen said Saturday that commuters…

‘Don’t Say Gay’ Is Happening in China Too. But It Can’t Turn Back the Clock. 

dont say gay is happening in china too but it cant turn back the clock

Advertisement In August, shortly after arriving at Yale as a visiting scholar from China, I watched “Pray Away,” a documentary about the “ex-gay” movement in the United States. In a clip from an old talk show, an “ex-gay” spokesperson tells the audience, “We’re just saying that, if you want to change, there is a way to do it.” As a gay man and activist, this message was deeply familiar to me. Just days before, a mother in China had called me in distress after finding out her son was gay.…

Seoul Arrests Ex-Top Security Official Over Border Killing 

seoul arrests ex top security official over border killing

Seoul —  South Korea’s former national security director was arrested Saturday over a suspected cover-up surrounding North Korea’s killing of a South Korean fishery official near the rivals’ sea boundary in 2020. Suh Hoon’s arrest early Saturday came as President Yoon Suk Yeol’s conservative government investigates his liberal predecessor’s handling of that killing and another border incident the same year, cases that prompted criticism Seoul was desperately trying to appease the North to improve relations. Former President Moon Jae-in, who staked his single-term on inter-Korean rapprochement before leaving office in…