News from China

There’s been some interesting news coming from China in the past couple of weeks and I wanted to note down some of them.

– Covid outbreak

In October, a new covid outbreak spread in China and it has been the largest so far since the initial epidemic in Wuhan was contained. This new outbreak affects mostly the northern part of the country and even though its numbers are very low compared to other countries (around 100 new cases per day at the peak in a country of 1.4 billion), hysteria came back in full force.

A couple of weeks ago, a teacher in Beijing tested positive and all the children in their class (aged 8) had to spend the night in the school while they were waiting for their tests to be performed. The next morning at 5 am or so they were taken out in hazmat suits, got into a bus and driven to a centralized quarantine location for two weeks. For each child, one of the parents could go and quarantine with them if they wanted. I’m not sure if any parent chose to leave their 8 year old alone in “quarantine camp” for a fortnight.

Video that the parents took and that the whole of China saw (my mother in law sent it to us).

Related to this, on Halloween there was a positive case in Shanghai Disneyland and the park was closed with 34,000 people inside while tests were done for everybody. I bet the people who went to spend Halloween there didn’t expect the night to be so terrifying!

– Stock up on food

Another piece of news related to China that has been very prominent lately is the government’s recommendation to stock up on food. It was supposed to be just in case prices went up due to energy constraints and the like, but many people started spreading the rumour that the war against Taiwan was inminent. In one of my husband’s family groups, an uncle shared an article which showed a train transporting missiles (no date or any context whatsoever) and under it there were a lot of comments along the lines of “It’s time to liberate Taiwan” (what kind of retard would wish for a war to break out at their doorstep, I have no idea). I’ve been sent pictures of supermarkets with empty shelves, something that didn’t even happen at the beginning of the pandemic in most parts of China.

Rice is sold out!

– COP26

Xi Jinping didn’t attend the climate change conference and he has been criticised for it. But what I find strange is that anyone thought he was going to go! As far as I know, since the pandemic started he hasn’t left China. How is he going to go abroad if when returning he would have to quarantine for three weeks, as a model for the people? Would he give his daily speeches from a hotel room and attend meetings through Zoom?

And he could use this phone for interviews!

On this front, at least there was one good news: China and the US reached an agreement to boost cooperation on climate change! Given that the two countries have been lately on each other’s neck, I think the mere fact that they got to sit together and talk things through is very positive.

– Peng Shuai and the Korean drama

Peng Shuai is a tennis star that announced on her Weibo that an exmember of the government (the ex vicepremier Zhang Gaoli) sexually abused her a few years ago. In her message she stated that she knew speaking about the case wouldn’t serve any purpose but that she wanted to do it anyway, and of course after a few minutes her post and her whole Weibo account were deleted. However, some users were faster than the censors and took screenshots of her message which were later shared. C. talked about it with some of his colleagues, who didn’t know, but in another one of his groups everybody was talking about it using emojis to avoid censorship (it seems even the word “tennis” was banned at some point). The funniest part of this whole thing (which in itself is not funny at all) is that a Korean drama called “Prime Minister and I” misterously disappeared from all the Chinese streaming services.

The Chinese vicepremier was not this handsome, though (he was like 70 when the alleged abuse happened).

And that’s it for the latest Chinese news!