Shanghai reports no new Covid cases for first time since March

China has reported no new Covid-19 infections in Shanghai for the first time since March, as the country’s latest outbreak subsides after months of lockdowns and other restrictions. China is the last major economy committed to a zero-Covid strategy, stamping out all infections with a combination of targeted lockdowns, mass testing and long quarantine periods. The economic hub of Shanghai was forced into a months-long lockdown during a Covid surge this spring driven by the fast-spreading Omicron variant. Beijing also shuttered schools and offices for weeks over a separate outbreak.…

Chinese premier calls for more coal production as electricity demand soars

China’s premier has called for increased production of coal to stave off mass blackouts, as early summer heatwaves have prompted record electricity usage. On Friday authorities again issued high temperature warnings for about a dozen provinces across the central and northern provinces, after consecutive days in the high 30s. As people sought to escape the heat this week, state media reported that electricity demand was up 8.8% in north-west China compared with last year, and 3.2% in northern China, citing the State Grid Corp of China. Records for maximum electricity…

Chinese city stripped of ‘civilised’ title after attack on female diners

The northern Chinese city of Tangshan has been stripped of a national honorary title as the fallout from the assault of four women at a restaurant earlier this month continues. The civilisation office of the Communist party of China’s central committee announced on Wednesday it had decided to remove Tangshan from the list of “national civilised cities” – the highest recognition for a Chinese city. “The honour of a civilised city belongs to all citizens and cannot be smeared or desecrated,” said China City News, a news outlet under the…

Police investigated over response to attack on female diners in Tangshan

Five police officials in the northern Chinese city of Tangshan are being investigated over their handling of a vicious attack on a group of women at a restaurant. The provincial discipline commission of Hebei province said the five, including the district head of the Lubei police force, Ma Aijun, were accused of “seriously violating discipline and law”. Hebei province’s public security bureau announced separately on Tuesday that Ma’s deputy, Li, had been removed from his post. The violence against four women at a barbecue restaurant on 10 June was widely…

Chinese police stop lorry carrying 386 dogs to slaughter at canine-meat festival – video

Chinese police pulled over a lorry carrying 386 dogs to slaughter at the annual dog-meat festival in the southern Chinese city of Yulin, which was scheduled to start on Tuesday – the summer solstice.  Lin Xiong, one of the activists who watched the vehicle being pulled over, said: ‘It was horrifying to see so many dogs in such an appalling state, it was like a truck from hell for these poor animals.’ In 2020, China’s ministry for agriculture and rural affairs ruled that dogs were companion animals, not ‘livestock’ for…

China carries out anti-missile tests amid opposition to US systems in South Korea

China carried out a test of “ground-based midcourse anti-missile intercept technology” that “achieved its expected purpose”, the defence ministry in Beijing has said, describing it as defensive and not aimed at any country. Beijing has tested missile interceptors before; the most recent previous public announcement of a test was in February 2021, and before that in 2018. State media has said China has conducted anti-missile system tests since at least 2010. China has been ramping up research into all sorts of missiles, from those that can destroy satellites in space…

‘Oh my God, buy it!’ China’s livestream shopping stars risk being censored

Hua Shao stands knee-deep in water at the edge of the sea, behind a table piled high with large crabs. The famous Chinese TV host is sweaty, sunburnt and laughing with a co-host as a red-and-blue fishing boat bobs behind them. “The sea-ears taste so good, it must have been collected from a sea area where the water is very clear,” he tells more than 100,000 people who are watching online. It’s the eve of “618”, one of China’s biggest retail festivals, which are increasingly driven by the weird world…

Heaven Supermarket: the Beijing bar at centre of Covid outbreak

Heaven Supermarket’s ability to attract young Chinese customers and foreigners has always been viewed with envy by its competitor bars in the Chinese capital. Located in one of the busiest nightlife districts in Beijing, the bar is modelled as a large self-service liquor store with chairs, sofas and tables. It is not the fanciest in its presentation, but on Chinese review websites, patrons highlight its affordability and down-to-earth attitude. Bono Lee, a Hong Kong culture critic who lived in the area between 2008 and 2012, once wrote of Heaven Supermarket:…

Shanghai reopens after two months of Covid lockdown – in pictures

Restrictions have eased and more than 22 million people are allowed to move around the city again Main image: People drink on a street, as the city prepares to end the lockdown placed to curb the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Shanghai Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters Wed 1 Jun 2022 01.46 EDT The Guardian

Shanghai starts to dismantle fences as Covid lockdown due to end

Shanghai authorities have begun dismantling fences around housing compounds and ripping police tape off public squares and buildings, to the relief of the city’s 25 million residents, before a painful two-month lockdown is lifted at midnight. On Monday evening, some of the people allowed out of their compounds for brief walks took advantage of suspended traffic to congregate for a beer and ice cream on deserted streets, but there was a sense of wariness and anxiety among residents. Most will be stuck indoors again until midnight, as they have been…

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