Chinese City Locks Down and Hospitals Shut Amid Growing CCP Virus Outbreak
After a CCP virus outbreak in Qingdao city, eastern China, authorities are scrambling to contain infections by locking down neighborhoods and requiring COVID-19 testing for all residents.
On October 12, the government locked down residential compounds where diagnosed patients live. It also designated the neighborhood where the Qingdao Chest Hospital is located as a “medium-risk region” for virus spread.
Six million residents who live in the Shinan, Shibei, Licang, Laoshan, and Chengyang districts were required to take COVID-19 nucleic acid testing. On the evening of October 12, residents began lining up. The city had announced 12 CCP virus infections earlier in the day, but gave no other details about the outbreak.
While the true scale of the current outbreak is unclear, as local authorities are known to underreport cases in order to downplay crises, the city has closed off at least three hospitals in anticipation of an uptick in COVID-19 infections.
And, although the city didn’t announce a full lockdown, air flights were canceled at Qingdao’s only airport. State-run newspaper Beijing Daily reported that 26 flights were canceled on October 12, and more than 110 flights were canceled on October 13. The report alerted travelers that more flights were expected to be canceled.
Qingdao, a coastal city in Shandong Province, is home to about 9.5 million people, according to the city’s official statistics.
On October 12, a top U.S. envoy called China “an elephant in the room” and said Washington is keen to advance India’s interests across the Indo-Pacific region.
Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said the United States was exploring ways to empower India without altering what he called New Delhi’s “strong and proud tradition of strategic autonomy.”
Biegun spoke in New Delhi at the opening session of the India-U.S. Forum after his three-day visit to India kicked off on October 12.
He said: “India has a strong and proud tradition of strategic autonomy, and we respect that. We do not seek to change India’s traditions. Rather we want to explore how to empower them and India’s ability to defend its own sovereignty and democracy and to advance Indian interests, across the Indo-Pacific region.”
In that direction, Washington has increased its foreign military sales and intelligence sharing with India, the number two U.S. diplomat said.
He said: “But there is more that we can do, including strengthening India’s ability to defend itself and by promoting interoperability among our militaries.”
Biegun cautioned about rising China in the region. He said: “Of course, as we advance in this direction, there is an elephant in the room: China.”
His visit follows a meeting last week between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his counterparts of India, Japan, and Australia in Tokyo, who together make up the four Indo-Pacific nations known as the Quad. The group of the four nations is seen as a counterweight to China who experts say is flexing its military muscle in the South China Sea, East China Sea, Taiwan Straits and along its northern border with India.
Beijing Olympics Face Boycott Calls over China’s Human Rights Abuses
Politicians in the United Kingdom and Australia are now calling on their athletes to consider boycotting the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The campaign was initiated by over 160 human rights groups who wrote a joint letter in September to urge the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to revoke the Beijing Winter Games. U.S. Senators also called on the United States to join the boycott.
Tuber Browser Bypasses CCP Firewall
A web browser called Tuber allows Chinese users to access banned foreign social media sites such as YouTube and Facebook without using a VPN. However, users have to register with their identity card information and phone number. The app also censors certain results from previously banned sites. After being popular for a short period of time, the app was removed and operations suspended. On October 9, the Tuber browser was successively launched in major online application stores in mainland China, and became popular quickly. Tuber had been downloaded more than 5 million times as of noon on October 10 in the Xiaomi App Store.